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News » Griffin says Blair will fit with Spurs


Griffin says Blair will fit with Spurs


Griffin says Blair will fit with Spurs When Blake Griffin checked into a midtown Manhattan hotel the day before the NBA draft, he sent a text message to his good friend, Pittsburgh forward DeJuan Blair.

"At hotel in NY; Where U at?" the text message read.

Blair's response: "Not there."

Puzzled, Griffin sent a second message, inquiring about Blair's arrival time. This time the response left Griffin totally perplexed.

"He let me know he wasn't coming to New York at all," said Griffin, the Clippers rookie and 2008-09 College Player of the Year who was the No. 1 overall selection of the draft. "That confused me and surprised me."

In fact, Blair wasn't in the "green room" at Madison Square Garden, awaiting an expected curtain call to pose with commissioner David Stern after being announced as a first-round pick. That was because the league had determined it wasn't likely that Blair would be taken in the first round, which turned out to be the case.

Instead, the Spurs made him the 37th overall pick.

Blair has vowed to make the 29 teams that passed on him regret the decision.

Griffin believes he will make good on his promise.

"It doesn't matter that he didn't go (in the first round)," Griffin said. "He got drafted where he was meant to be, and I know he's going to make the best of it."

The two power forwards became good friends at summer Basketball. On Wednesday night, they went head-to-head at the AT&T Center in a preseason game. Griffin had 23 points and seven rebounds. Blair turned in his second double-double, with 11 points and 12 rebounds in Los Angeles' 93-90 victory.

Griffin was strictly a power forward at Oklahoma, but Clippers coach Mike Dunleavy plans to try him some at small forward this season.

"He's got great effort and a skill level, as far as ball handling and passing, that are off the charts for a big guy," Dunleavy said. "His shot is getting better and deeper all the time."

Blair knows his future never will be on the perimeter but said he is eager to see Griffin at small forward.

"They're really going to play him out there?" he said. "I want to see that."

Lucas back: Former Spurs coach John Lucas is back on the sidelines in the NBA, added to Dunleavy's staff. Lucas replaced Jerry Tarkanian as Spurs coach on Dec. 18, 1992, and coached the team through the end of the 1993-94 season.

"I'm having a blast," said Lucas, who coached the 76ers and Cavaliers after leaving the Spurs . "I've always had fun coaching."

Equipment notes: Manu Ginobili wore black shoes, explaining as he checked into the game in the first quarter that he was going with his rebel look.

Tim Duncan, wearing a brace on his left knee, had the device wrapped in white tape between the first and second quarters.

Duncan played 16 minutes and had six points and five rebounds.


Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website: http://www.foxsports.com
Added: October 16, 2009

 

 
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