2009 NBA Draft Coverage: Hello, My Name Is Blake Griffin

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Hello, my name is Blake Griffin. How come a blog about the team in my home state is giving all these other potential picks a chance to speak out and let the world know why they are the right fit for the Thunder, when I haven't been given the opportunity yet? Seriously guys, I'm disappointed, I should have been the first guy you asked to write about why I'm the best fit for the Thunder. I suppose I'll forgive you guys because I realize that the reason probably lies in the chances that the Thunder are actually able to negotiate a deal that would allow them to trade up to the #1 overall pick and take me, are slim to none. But that's neither here nor there, I'm going to take a few minutes anyway and try to convince you why the Thunder should do anything they can to acquire my draft rights.

So I'll start with the most obvious of reasons, I'm widely regarded as the consensus #1 pick and top prospect in this draft. Along with myself, only Ricky Rubio is said to be nearly as hot a commodity as most media outlets are quick to tell you this draft is about the the top two players, then everyone else. Why wouldn't you want to get your hands on the top talent in the draft if a reasonable deal becomes available to you? There is no reason, so I'm here to tell all you Thunder fans, Sam Presti, and anyone else who cares, if  there is even a hint of a chance that you can work a deal for me, that won't destroy the core of great young players you have created, you need to make it happen.


Blake Griffin

#23 / Forward / Oklahoma Sooners

6-10

251

sophomore



FG 3PT FT Rebounds Misc
G M M A Pct M A Pct M A Pct Off Def Tot Ast TO Stl Blk PF PPG
2008 - Blake Griffin 35 33.3 8.6 13.1 65.4 0.1 0.3 33.3 5.5 9.3 58.8 3.9 10.5 14.4 2.3 3.3 1.1 1.2 2.5 22.7

Okay, so maybe being the consensus #1 pick wasn't the most obvious reason to trade up and draft me. To be honest, the most obvious reason is because I'm a local boy, born and raised in Oklahoma City, and played college ball just down the road, in Norman, for the Oklahoma Sooners. Let's face it, fans love nothing more than to root for their hometown heroes, and when they are lucky enough to have them playing on their hometown teams, the results are nothing but positive. From what I can tell, the Thunder don't have to worry too much about putting butts in the seats, but having me playing for the Thunder will all but guarantee sell out after sell out, for years to come. Just look at the special connection Thunder fans felt with regard to Desmond Mason this past season, or even the players who made trips to the Ford Center, as members of the opposing teams, who were members of the Hornets during their short stay in Oklahoma City. The fans here connected with them when most all of them have no connections to the city outside of the time they spent playing for the Hornets. So you can only imagine the response from the fans if they get a chance to cheer on a homegrown player like myself.

Perhaps now I should talk about what I can bring to this team on the court. A presence in the frontcourt that this team can depend on each and every night. From what I can tell, and from what the fans here have told me, this is something the team was severely lacking in during their first season in Oklahoma. I have the size, strengh, and work ethic to become the dominant force this team will need as it builds towards a championship. Although I have some work to do on both the offensive and defensive end, I believe I can develop into a force on both ends of the court over the next few years. My atheticism alone will afford me mismatch after mismatch, and I plan on exploiting each and every one that comes my way. I'm also physical player who doesn't mind throwing his body  (sometimes with wreckless abandon) around to get the job done. One thing is for sure, if opposing teams plan on stopping me, they'd better be prepared to handle a beating.

Offensively, I'm a great scorer who shoots for a high percentage. Of course, just looking at my shooting percentage is misleading in terms of how I get buckets. I realize there is a need for me to develop a mid-range jumpshot to become a successful scoring force during my career in the NBA. I also have some work to do on becoming a better free throw shooter, especially since I'm great at getting to the line. That said, just because I'm not great at either of those two things yet doesn't mean that teams won't have to pay attention to me down low. I'm the next key to opening up the floor in ways that Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook never dreamed of. With me in the lineup, KD can be competing for a scoring title as soon as next season.

Defensively, I'm ready to become the rebounding force that will limit opponent teams chances to far less than they otherwise would be. Just like on the offensive end, I have room to grow defensively as well. In college I was only able to average about 1 block per game, and with my athleticism and explosiveness, I believe I can improve on those totals and not only be a force on the boards, but a shot blocker as well. I want to be the kind of player that forces the ball to the perimeter because opposing teams are too afraid to attack the lane because they'll have to go through me to get to the hoop. I have a lot of work to get to that point, but at the same time, I believe I have all the tools to make me a capable defensive stopper in the middle.

Then there is the issue of what to do with Jeff Green. He's done a great job playing the power forward position for the Thunder even though he's a natural 3, and a bit undersized compared to your normal 4. Even if the Thunder wanted to continue to start him at the four during my rookie season, I believe that I can give good minutes at both the power forward and center positions depending on the rotations that Scott Brooks wants to throw out on the floor. Down the road of course a decision would have to be made as to what Greens eventual role will be, or whether he'll be kept on the team or used as bait to fill out another position on the team. This is probably the most complicated decision the Thunder will have to make if they are able to acquire my draft rights. Its a question the team will have to address sooner or later anyway if they plan on keeping Kevin Durant at the 3, which based on his play this season, looks more and more likely all the time.

In the end though, I'm the best fit for this team bar none. I was born and raised here and would love nothing more than to start, finish, and play my entire career in the city I was born as a member of the Oklahoma City Thunder. I'm the next logical puzzle piece that Sam Presti can work into his puzzle for a building a World Championship basketball team. I have all the tools, and the work ethic to develop any aspect of my game that is currently lacking. If you trade up for me, I assure of one thing. You will not regret it. I won't dissapoint. So come later this month, do whatever you need to, to trade up and make me the next member of the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Still not convinced? Check out some of my videos from Youtube below.
***This article not written by Blake Griffin***

Like this post? 2009 NBA Draft Coverage: Hello, My Name is series (Click on a player card to view article)
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