Tommy Griffin, there’s someone you should meet. Archie Manning is his name. I don’t know Manning — interviewed him privately once; heck of a nice guy — but I know well people who know Manning well. Something could be arranged.
Manning did something you should do, in very similar circumstances to what your family is facing. Manning looked out for his boy. He flew into the winds of convention and power, all because he thought it was best for his son. Time for you to do the same, Tommy Griffin. You’ve done amazing work raising Blake and Taylor. They’ve become solid young men. But your work is not done. Sometimes, even massive men (the 6-foot-10 Blake qualifies) still need guidance from home. So here goes. Don’t let your son become a Los Angeles Clipper. Do whatever is within your power — and despite what anyone says, Blake holds the high cards — to make sure your son lands elsewhere on NBA Draft night. Just like Archie Manning did for Eli. In the 2004 NFL Draft, the Mannings sent along word that Eli would not sign with the San Diego Chargers, should they select him with the first pick in the draft. San Diego chose Eli anyway, but before the sun set, he had been traded to the Giants, and the Manning family was happy. I’ve forgotten all the reasons why Archie Manning was dead-set against San Diego. But I know why the Griffins should stay far, far away from the Clippers. And it has nothing to do with trying to keep Blake in his hometown. This is not a Thunder issue. This is a save-Blake issue. Get him to Memphis. Get him to Sacramento. Get him to Washington or Minneapolis or New York. Get him anywhere except the Clippers. The Clippers are the worst franchise in major-league sport. Worst record (.347 winning percentage since they moved to LA 25 years ago; two winning seasons since the ’70s). Worst owner. Donald Sterling’s racist actions and sexual harassment history was well-documented in the most recent ESPN The Magazine; the Justice Department has filed suit against him. Worst tradition.