COLUMN: Blake Griffin named NBA Rookie of the Year
What we’ve all known for months is finally official: Blake Griffin is the NBA’s Rookie of the Year, the league announced Wednesday.
Griffin was a unanimous selection, the first to sweep the votes since San Antonio’s David Robinson in 1990, when Griffin was just a year old.
The former Sooner star was a dunk machine for the Los Angeles Clippers this season. (Want to see all 214 in four minutes? There’s a YouTube video for that.)
His dramatic dunks were featured consistently on SportsCenter’s top plays, and he made national pundits drool over his athleticism and pure talent.
He wowed the world by winning the dunk contest with a massive leap over a car with a Gospel choir singing behind him.
Griffin played in all 82 Clippers games, leading all rookies in points (22.5) and rebounds (12.1) per game.
He put up a double-double in 63 games — including a 27-game streak — and had two triple-doubles.
Griffin finished just behind Washington’s John Wall with the second-most assists (3.8) per game by a rookie.
Griffin is one of the most electric players in the NBA and put the other team from Los Angeles back on the map.
I could go on and on with his statistics and qualifications. In short, there was no other logical choice for the rookie honor but Griffin.
The same was said about Robinson, whose wowing rookie season was capped by a 12-block performance against Minnesota that remained his career high.
It will be interesting to see how Griffin’s career will stack up against Robinson’s when Blake hangs up his sneakers.
Robinson won two NBA titles (1999, 2003) and a pair of Olympic gold medals (1992, ‘96).
He coupled Defensive Rookie of the Year (1992) and MVP (1995) awards with his rookie honors.
He led the NBA in scoring (1993-94), rebounding (1990-91) and blocked shots (1991-92).
He was a 10-time All-Star and was inducted into the Basketball and U.S. Olympic Halls of Fame.
He scored 40 or more points 23 times during his career, highlighted by a 71-point game against the Clippers in 1994 to lock up the scoring title.
Blake has some work to do.
Granted, Robinson is considered one of the best centers in NBA history, but Griffin’s just getting started.
There’s no telling what he could accomplish in the right situations or with the right teams.
I just know — because of Griffin’s style — it will be impossible to miss.
— James Corley, journalism senior