LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles Clippers didn’t need time after the draft lottery to decide who to take with the No. 1 pick.
They settled on Oklahoma’s Blake Griffin long ago.
"I’d say we made the decision June 2008,” assistant general manager Neil Olshey said Wednesday at the team’s practice facility in Playa Vista. "When he decided to go back to Oklahoma, that if we got the No. 1 pick in ‘09, he’d be the guy.”
The Clippers earned the right to select the All-American forward in the June 25 draft Tuesday when they won the lottery, moving up from the third-best chance.
On Wednesday, the Clippers strategically placed pictures of Griffin on their Web site to advertise ticket sales for next season. Team president Andy Roeser refused to say Tuesday night what Los Angeles would do with the pick, but Olshey wanted fans to understand the Clippers are committed to winning.
"We went through a very difficult season. I don’t think that our record is indicative of our roster composition,” Olshey said. "I think that Blake was clearly the No. 1 choice.
"It was important to give clarity to our fans to understand that we’ve spent the last month licking our wounds, finding out what we did wrong for the last 82 games and now it’s about the future.