The Thunder, Blake Griffin and unanswered prayer(s)
Blake Griffin’s rookie season in the NBA is over before it began and all I can think of is an old Garth Brooks song: Unanswered Prayers.
“Sometimes I thank God for unanswered prayers…”
I know some Thunder fans who should be singing that today. What if their lottery prayers for the Oklahoma City Thunder had been answered? What if the Thunder had won the 2009 NBA Draft lottery? A franchise still looking to make its mark on the league and in its new market would have had a dream scenario — the national collegiate Player of the Year and No. 1 pick in the draft playing in his hometown.
Remember the draft lottery? We went to the final commercial break with three teams still in the running for the No. 1 pick (Oklahoma City, Memphis and the Clippers). And that’s the way they finished, in reverse order.
The Clippers won, and lost. I don’t believe in curses, but try finding a Clippers fan who doesn’t. Griffin, perhaps one of the most gifted athletes this state has produced, is now driving down Danny Manning Boulevard. It’s a cruel, cruel fate. Leg injuries to large, explosive leapers can turn those guys into large, immobile big men. Not saying that’s what will happen to Griffin, but that is the sum of all Clipper fears.
The Grizzlies finished second and took Hasheem Thabeet, who averages 10 minutes per game. Bust. Ron Tillery of the Memphis Commercial-Appeal says there are nights when Thabeet gets yanked after a few minutes for “overall inactivity.”
The Thunder won show money in the lottery, and now look like the biggest winner. There was nothing sexy about James Harden on draft night, and there’s really nothing all that sexy about him now, unless you love guys to whom the game always seems to flow to and through. (Confession: I was beating the “Draft Rubio” drum, mostly because I was dreaming of all the international Web traffic for NewsOK. … OK, I also thought he’d be a once-in-a-generation point guard, and he still may be — someday.
I’d say the Thunder’s player moves have been smarter than they’ve been lucky, but you have to admit they’ve had a good deal of both. Speaking of unanswered prayers, what if instead of getting the No. 2 pick in the 2007 draft lottery those Seattle SuperSonics had gotten No. 1?
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