Far be it from me to just be blatantly pissed about something, but this cannot stand. As the NBA Las Vegas Summer League came to a close last week Clippers forward Blake Griffin was named the camp’s MVP. I’ve talked about at length about the kind of disrespect the Warriors get, and this is just another example.
Without a doubt everything that happens in Summer League should be taken with a giant grain of salt. The games are unorganized and helter skelter, with many of the teams’ rosters filled with guys who may never see a second of action in the NBA. Thus being named MVP of something so elementary is not necessarily that big of an honor. However, Anthony Randolph took the league by force, thanks largely to a brutal summer workout routine, and has nothing to show for it. The numbers were there, the voters were not.
In looking at both Randolph and Griffin’s performances, how could it not have been the former? Golden State’s roster was littered with far more Summer League All Stars than the Clippers and Randolph still managed to lead the league with 26.8 points per game on 60 percent shooting – much greater than Griffin’s 19.2 points on 50 percent shooting. In slightly less minutes Randolph bested Griffin in free throw percentage (74 to 45), blocks and steals. He also had fewer turnovers. In the big picture, Randolph led Golden State to a 4-1 record while LA finished 2-3.
The only statistical category that Griffin “won” was rebounding, outgrabbing Randolph 10 to 8. But surely a 2 rebound differential doesn’t automatically garner MVP honors.
But the Clippers are hot right now. They nabbed a very, very good player by picking number 1 overall. They are also in a bigger market in LA, recently unloaded Zach Randolph’s monster deal, and have been involved in Allen Iverson talks.
In the grand scheme of things, this MVP award is not what will be remembered from Summer League. It will be recalled for Randolph’s development and posting of 3 consecutive 20-10 games preceding a 42 point outing. It also marked Blake Griffin’s first steps towards becoming the savior of the Clippers that everyone thinks he will be. But this tiny little MVP trophy matters to Golden State’s fans, who after enduring a brutal decade and a half of false hopes can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Dr. Murphy out
***This week’s trivia - drop your guesses/answers in the comments section
Since the tracking of steals and blocks as a statistic 4 players in NBA history have netted a quadruple-double including Nate Thurmond, Alvin Robertson and Hakeem Olajuwon. The 4th player got it in February of 1994; who was it?
***Last week’s answer: Kenyon Martin was the last American-born college senior to be selected #1 overall in the NBA draft. The Nets picked him in 2000 out of the University of Cincinnati.