ROY Debate Starts Now

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — The conversation lasted nearly the entire season with Brandon Jennings, Tyreke Evans and Steph Curry all spent time in the top spot before Evans snagged Rookie of the Year honors.

If you remember back to the 2009 draft, none of those guards was pegged as the early favorite for ROY honors. That honor belonged to No. 1 overall pick and Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin.

I know he’s dropped off of a lot of people’s radar since missing the entire season recovering from a cracked left kneecap suffered during the preseason, but have you heard what the Clippers are saying about him these days?

They are praising Griffin in ways that make us believe he’ll be more than just temporary factor in the ROY race this season (hold off on handing the hardware over to Washington’s John Wall just yet).

“We think Blake is a star,” Clippers VP of basketball operations Neil Olshey told my main man Eric Pincus of Hoopsworld. “I think he’s one of the great ones.  He’s got a chance based on his work ethic, his commitment and his God-given ability.  He’s going to be a great player and he’s going to be a part of our organization for a long time.”

Sure, you figure Olshey has to praise a No. 1 pick selected on his watch. But this isn’t just cover-your-own-tail rhetoric coming out of Clipperland. Olshey said the Clippers gave no thought to trying to deal Griffin for Carmelo Anthony (not that the Clippers were on Anthony’s rumored short list anyway).

Around here we put more stock in peer evaluation. And Griffin’s teammates are just as giddy about his potential as anyone in the front office. We spoke with Baron Davis earlier this summer on the Hang Time Podcast and he mentioned that he didn’t have to spend time advising a player with Griffin’s maniacal work ethic about the rigors that await.

Clippers All-Star center Chris Kaman also sees something special in Griffin, his new running mate in the frontcourt.

“They have to tell him to slow down and not work as much,” Kaman told Hoopsworld.  “If you let him go he’ll run himself into the ground.  He just loves it and eats it up.  He’s a special player with his athleticism and strength and very explosive.   I know I’m saying a lot but I’m looking for big things out him.”

As are we here at the hideout. While it remains painfully early to start the Rookie of the Year debate, we just want to make sure no one uses Griffin’s season-long absence to keep him out of the collective consciousness. Because if things play out as we think they might, he could be right there with Wall and Sacramento’s DeMarcus “Boogie” Cousins in a three-man race for the top spot.



  1. china says:

    Speaking of Skip Bayless, please take anything he says about Wall with a grain of salt. I will never forget the day he carried on as if he didn’t take his medicine and was talking about Wall. He has talked about this situation at least 3x’s and he has never been called out on it. It was the SEC championship game when Kentucky with 2 loses play for the championship against one of the 2 teams that beat them in the regular season (South Carolina). For those of you who don’t remember Kentucky was down by 2 points with something like .04 seconds left. Wall took the shot and missed but Cousins made the put back and it went into overtime. Kentucky went on to win the SEC championship and got the #1 seed. While referring to that game, Skip who was acting so as a matter of fact as he always does says Wall carried on as if they had won the game and he just can’t trust him!! This why I know it’s BS, everybody on that team ran and jumped on Cousins, some Wildcats fan were crying, and I was hiding in the room cause I couldn’t watch. Everyone had that reaction if you were a Kentucky fan but because Wall was so happy just as everybody else was he said that about him. Anybody who goes back and watch the end of the game and watch his reaction and come to that conclusion is a hater. Why couldn’t he be so happy because they didn’t lose to one of the 2 teams that did beat them already in the Championship game. Skip is the lead Tea Bagger and he has a large following and you need to be careful thinking he is fair or geniune.

  2. china says:

    I have been trying to reach some of the NBA sports Gods about this issue. It seems as if the NBA is beginning to do the same thing to Wall as they did to him in college. Deny him his props! He is not overhyped, if he was they wouldn’t have robbed him of several awards in college. Evan Turner in my opinion is no where near in Wall’s league, but they lobbied for him so hard for POY it really made me sick! They even gave the dude Vasquez the award for best PG, are you kidding me! But see the more they downplayed him the easier it was to give Turner POY! When Wall was with Kentucky everyone from Lebron, Magic, and Barkley attended Kentucky games just to see him! Why wouldn’t you want to market that? AND they are not trying to market him. Turner didn’t even play the whole season. Now it looks like they are gonna shove Griffin down our throat just like they did Turner. I have no problem with Blake, he is a beast but Wall is a natural at PG and is in a class all by himself, the most important position on the floor. When I go to NBATV everyday it really surprises me that they constantly have a full days worth of team profiles and Washington is nowhere to be found! Of course the Heat, Lakers, Boston, Orlando and so on will be previewed, but to constantly show the Timberwolves, Bobcats and such and not market the #1 draft picks team is just ridiculous! I just went to and saw Griffin’s face when referring to outstanding rookies and top runners for ROY and Blake picture is the one posted. It seems so fake and obvious that it is happening again. Imagine MLB not marketing Strasburg when he is as good and as marketable as he is! That’s why I wanna reach the Gods ( Kenny, Reggie, Magic, Walton etc) about this because it is bad for the sport! It’s guys like Skip Bayless and several other ESPN analyst none of which are relevant in the NBA world ( I call them Tea Baggers) if you know what I mean!!

  3. Ti Brown says:

    Thanks for the article on Griffin, HT. I had almost forgotten how intriguing the story of his potential development and the potential Clippers turnaround could be. Keeping an eye on both. Thanks again!

  4. bigmike902 says:

    rookie of the year awards are normally handed out to the players who were drafted from the 1 to 5 spot from draft. which most of the time comes from a lottery pick team who didnt make the playoffs, or a bad record. which obv. means they didnt have the talent or chemistry to make the playoffs. the guys winning the ROY award are normally put into starting roles on sub-par teams that can flourish. as for my pick for the ward im going with evan turner of philly. good kid with good work ethic.

  5. NBAfan says:

    I have the same feeling that Griffin will not be bust. He has that ‘aura’ of a star. With regards to ROY awards, he will be a weekly Top 5. John Wall would be there as well but there is a question of theWiz chemistry specially with Arenas. If they can get ‘the player who is injured last season and suspended this season’ then Wall WILL have a better chance.

  6. Hasib says:

    He’s good guys

    13-9 will be pretty good for a rookie big, think about al horford who wa san allstar this season, he only did 13-10

    He’s a good player, and that’s just the bottom for him, he actually could explode with 15+ and 10 a night, which should give him the roy award.

  7. irs levy says:

    blake griffin is the real thing….he and gordon are the nucleus…baron doesnt matter anymore…this team will be in the playoffs this year.

  8. Hall of Fame Man says:

    Clipper Nation should seriously just stop putting their hopes to high because year after year their hopes get crunched. If people looked at the raw talent that the Clippers have, it is amazing but for some reason they are just a terrible team. Just stop, raising LAC’s hope people because in the end they are going to get crushed again.
    P.S go John Wall

  9. six6heat says:

    14 and 11? that’s wishful thinking. on a team with a shoot first point guard and a shooting guard coming back from the summer games it’s more likely to be a 10-7 guy.

  10. Ryan says:

    Blake Griffin no doubt has the talent and the teammates surrounding him to have a successful rookie year. I think Blake will be a 14 and 11 guy this season and those numbers are good enough for the award.

  11. KING KOBE says:

    clippers lol quit giving them hope at the start of the year as usual lol we all know they end up 27- 89 every year lol just stop all the hype just stop it llol

  12. Chris says:

    I was able to watch him and his brother play here in Oklahoma. Until you see him play, you cant really appreciate his abilities and intensity. He is a monster.

  13. Goto Guy says:

    I’m looking forward where the other team in LA known to us as the Clippers can be relevant. Mr. Griffin has a chance to be as good as a player could be. All that depends on him and a little luck so as to stay away from injuries, I really hope he can be a really good player. In the NBA everyone has talent it just varies from one to another; it’s the level of work and dedication to improve that’s a challenge to find. Hopefully he can find the right mix and be a special player, I wish he becomes a dominant big man who plays like a big man should play, inside banging bodies and imposing himself.

  14. Jeff says:

    you forgot to put Marcus Camby’s comments. Hes a trailblazer now but he was a clipper. he said hes one of the hardest workers he seen in like 15 years.

  15. Tenki says:

    This season, the ROY honors could come from LA, with Griffin winning it all. I see him as a great rookie with work ethic similar to that of KD, a good roster to complement his game (Davis, Gordon, Kaman), and IF they make it to the second round of the playoffs, even if he doesn’t bring home the trophy, he will be the most significant rookie to play this season (not to mention his health).

    John Wall can impact his team, but with erratic Arenas around, we don’t know what to expect. As for Cousins, he must be very humble to grow in the league. He has teammates who are near hiss age, and youth is a MAJOR factor in winning ballgames. it would be very good if Sacramento can bring up this brand of basketball.

    NBA Rookies, I congratulate you for making it into the league! Work hard and work smartly!

    • Sam says:

      I don’t really get all the hype with John Wall, as far as I’m concerned, DeMarcus Cousins and maybe even Patrick Patterson were better than him, and those were players on his own team. Don’t get me wrong, he will be a solid point guard in the league but out of your number 1 pick, you want someone who is going to be a superstar. If Blake Griffin was playing on that Wizards team, he would easily be a 20 12 guy, whereas John Wall get 14 points and 5 assists at best. There is no doubt in my mind that DeMarcus Cousins will be the best player of this rookie crop, developing into the force that Andrew Bynum was supposed to be

  16. Zzanzabar says:

    The ROY award is more about longevity than ultimate results (winning the Finals) and rightfully so. While in the past 14 years only two recipients (Gasol, Duncan) have ever won a title, everyone of them is still playing (and quite well, I might add) today. To me this is an indication of raw talent combined with potential that creates a solid player. If I were a GM and had a player named as the Rookie of the Year, I would consider it money in the bank.

    • Potter says:

      It is true that only Tim Duncan and Pau Gasol are the only recent ROYs to win a championship there are a couple factors that go into this. For the purpose of explaining why this may be, one can look at some of the numbers involved.

      In the last 14 years, only 6 teams have won NBA Championships. They are as follows:
      LA Lakers (5)
      San Antonio Spurs (4)
      Chicago Bulls (2)
      Boston Celtics (1)
      Miami Heat (1)
      Detroit Pistons (1)

      Obviously, for a Rookie of the Year from the last 14 years to win a Championship, they would need to play for one of these teams.

      Several ROYs have infaact played for these teams, albeit not the season when the their team won the NBA Title. These cases are as follows:

      Elton Brand (ROY 2000) and Derrick Rose (ROY 2009) both won Rookie of the Year after being drafted by the Chicago Bulls; unfortunately, at that point in franchise history, the roster of the 1990’s Bull’s Dynasty had long been dissolved.

      Lebron James (ROY 2004) while playing for the Cleveland Cavaliers and Mike Miller (ROY 2001) while playing for the Washinton Wizards have both ‘taken their talents’ to Miami, giving both a chance to win a Championship in the upcoming years. It should be noted that James has come the closest of all the Non-Championship winning ROYs when his Cavaliers lost to the San Antonio Spurs in the 2008 Finals.

      One thing that may explain why many ROYs from the last 14 years have not won Championships may be because of the dynamics of the team that they are drafted by. The average draft position of the past 14 ROYs is 3.3. If you remove Amare Stoudamire (ROY 2003), an outlier having been drafted 9th overall, the average position drops to 2.8. Logically, for a team to have such a high overall pick, they are likely in the rebuilding stage, having either aquired the pick though the Draft Lottery or by trading quality assets for said pick. For a team to go from selecting at such a position to winning an NBA Title takes time; most often, the entire roster needs to be retooled. In the case of Lebron James, the ROY had decided to leave it’s original team after enduring several seasons of their roster being retooled (mirroring to some degree what Pau Gasol did, although Gasol was aquired by trade opposed to Free Agency).

      It may be misleading to say that only two ROYs have since gone on to win an NBA Title when in fact, those players (Duncan, ROY 1998, and Gasol, ROY 2002) have been on 6 of the 14 Championship teams. Another way of looking at this is that 43% of the last 14 Championship teams have featured a ROY from the past 14 seasons.

      If you take these statistics into concideration, it is understandable why the number of ROYs in the past 14 seasons who have gone on to win Titles seems low.

      Not sure where I was going with all of this but hopefully Stat-junkies will get a kick out of it!

    • JWY of Singapore says:


    • Ippy says:

      it is hard to win if you are picked up by the worst team…lol. To make the matter worse, no one would want to send their best players to contenders unless you are Grizz GM or on sabotaging mission like McHale whose interests still lies to Celts. That is why they dont win chips. Jordan, Magic, Robinson and Duncan, (in my memory) won ROY and chips with teams that drafted them. I suspect there are not many more left.