NBA Comes Calling for Griffin Brothers

Blake Griffin was the first player to hear his name called during Thursday night's NBA draft when he was selected by the Clippers with the first overall pick. And then late in the second round his older brother Taylor also got to hear his name when the Suns selected him with their second round pick (48).

Blake Griffin saw a longtime dream realized when NBA Commissioner David Stern stepped to the podium Thursday night at Madison Square Garden.

"With the first pick in the 2009 NBA Draft," said Stern, "the Los Angeles Clippers select Blake Griffin of the University of Oklahoma."

With that, Griffin unleashed an ear-to-ear smile, stood and embraced those at his table -- his parents Gail and Tommy, his brother Taylor and OU Head Coach Jeff Capel.

Griffin, the consensus national player of the year as a sophomore last season, became the first No. 1 overall NBA Draft selection in OU history and the first from a current Big 12 Conference school since Danny Manning was also taken by the Clippers in 1988.

When asked about the first thought that crossed his mind when he heard Stern's announcement, Griffin said, "Just relief, man. It's great to know exactly where I'm going and have it set in stone."

Griffin was also asked about the Clippers' long history of losing.

"I'm not worried about what's happened in the past," he said. "I'm only looking forward to the future. We're not going think about what's happened in seasons past. We're just excited about the opportunity and going to make the best out of whatever situation we're put in."

Griffin claimed every national player of the year award last season after averaging 22.7 points, 14.4 rebounds and 2.3 assists while shooting .654 from the field. He ranked first nationally in rebounding and double-doubles (his 30 double-doubles were the second most in NCAA history), second in field goal percentage and 11th in scoring.

Griffin's 504 rebounds were the most in a season since Larry Bird grabbed 505 in 1978-79 and his rebounding average was the highest since Tim Duncan pulled down 14.7 per game in 1996-97.

The 6-10, 250-pounder from Oklahoma City led the Sooners to a 30-6 record and to the Elite Eight. In four NCAA Tournament games, Griffin averaged 28.5 points, 15.0 rebounds and 2.3 assists while shooting .780 from the field.

The highest previous NBA Draft selection in OU history was Wayman Tisdale, who was picked No. 2 overall by the Indiana Pacers in 1985.

This marks the fourth straight year a Big 12 Conference player has been selected in the top two of the NBA Draft.

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Approximately four hours after Blake Griffin was selected No. 1 overall in the NBA Draft by the Los Angeles Clippers, older brother Taylor Griffin was taken in the second round by the Phoenix Suns with the 48th overall pick.

Taylor Griffin, a senior last year at Oklahoma who averaged 9.6 points, 5.8 rebounds, 1.3 assists, 1.3 steals and 1.0 blocked shot per game for the 30-6 Sooners, was elated with the night's outcome.

"This is your dream," said the 6-7, 238-pound forward from a suite at New York's Madison Square Garden. "As far as Blake and I being taken in same draft -- you can imagine maybe playing in college together, but never in million years did I really imagine both of us being drafted on the same night."

Griffin, who ranks fifth in OU history in games played and 10th in blocked shots, said his affinity for the Suns as a kid made tonight's selection even more satisfying.

"Phoenix was actually a favorite team of mine growing up, so that's kind of cool," he commented. "I loved watching them play when I was in high school.

"I think I can fit in well there. I'm not sure what they want to do with me. I have a chance to show them what I can do on their summer league team. They've also talked about possibly sending me overseas. We'll have to wait and see what happens."

Griffin added, "I have a lot that people haven't seen yet. With my work ethic, I think I have a chance to do some really good things."

Griffin, who said that he did not work out for the Suns, learned early in the second round that they might go after him.

"I think they were on about the 35th pick when my agent called me and told me they were seriously considering me for the 48th. Then he called me back and wasn't sure. He said that Utah also liked me at 50."

Phoenix is coached by Alvin Gentry and finished 48-36 last season, two games out of the playoffs.

This marks the first time since 1989 that two Sooners were taken in the same NBA Draft (Stacey King was the No. 6 overall pick and Mookie Blaylock was the No. 12 selection).


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