Just after I finished some breakfast, I ran into Blake and Taylor Griffin. I worked their game last season against USC in LA. Even as a freshman, it was readily apparent to me at the time that Blake Griffin would one day be a dominating figure on the basketball court.
I'm not sure, however, if I expected him to develop into the clear cut #1 pick in this year's NBA Draft, after just two years in college. He is, by far, one of the most athletically-gifted and talented players the college game has seen over the last few years.
I congratulated them on a great season at Oklahoma. They thanked me but said they wish it would have lasted a bit longer. Even several weeks removed from their South Regional Final loss to eventual national champion North Carolina, the guys were still feeling the disappointment of that loss. Such drive to win is what makes a winner, a winner. It's also something every NBA team looks for when drafting lottery picks.
I asked them what brought them to the West Coast. They told me that they were out here working out with the same personal trainer they worked with last summer. I was not immediately familiar with the guy they mentioned, but they told me he definitely knows what he's doing. Considering how well both Blake and Taylor performed this season and their overall body composition, I would have to agree.
As I mentioned earlier, Blake Griffin will definitely be the #1 pick in June, regardless of ends selecting first. Taylor's NBA future is more in doubt. He will definitely get a look from several teams prior to the draft, but he may be better suited not getting drafted. Unless you are a first-round pick, it's oftentimes better to go undrafted so you can decide between various free agent offers from teams. That way, you can pick a situation that gives you the best opportunity to make the team coming out of training camp.
Here's to wishing both of them luck wherever they end up.