8.21.2007

R.I.P. EDDIE GRIFFIN


[These are words of praise, after a 22 point, 12 rebound night by EG]

As the Brown Recluse, Esq. put it, he's "got to have the saddest NBA story ever. Maybe even sadder than Bias." I would have to agree. Wherever Eddie Griffin went, bad things hovered. Probation violations, the near shooting of his ex-girlfriend, alcohol and drug abuse, careless driving. I'm sure the masturbation jokes are flying right now on ESPN message boards, but Griffin deserves proper commemoration. His style of play was one of the most interesting things I have ever seen. Downright weird, savant, brilliant. He would chuck three-pointers in a line-drive fashion that would give the ball vitriolic backspin. Next thing you know, he would collect three blocks in a row, or get tip dunks off of his teammates missed shots.

I was sad to see him get waived from the Timberwolves, a consequence of bad timing, as the Timberwolves were trying to set a standard of "character" after the Cassell and Sprewell flare-ups (not to mention the anti-SexBoat/Whizzinator sentiment looming around the Twin Cities). Griffin deserved a spot. I always wished he wound up back in Houston, where he could have been the ideal player to help Yao on the glass, give him a spell, and learn ancient secrets from Mutombo. Griffin was a unique talent who never fully realized his own potential. Now he is reduced to the fifth headline on ESPN.com for a day, not even receiving Cory Lidle treatment.

The saddest part is that Griffin died last week. It took dental records to identify his burned body, so the story could not be released with full veracity until now. He will be missed by all of us here, and his style will eternally subsist within the game's odd angles and idiosyncrasies, a Josh Smith block, a Tyson Chandler rebound, an Al Harrington heave.

7 Comments:

At 8/21/2007 9:52 PM, Anonymous Cyanide said...

I think there's some sort of cosmic humor to this. Michael Vick being heralded as a great wasted talent, so good ol' EG had to show the world just how much he wasted once and for all.

Reading the initial news piece brought that one line from Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas to my mind about him: "There he goes. One of God's own prototypes. A high-powered mutant of some kind never even considered for mass production. Too weird to live, and too rare to die. "

Such a unique baller, but such a fuck-up. The NBA, it's all about tragedy now, apparently.

 
At 8/21/2007 10:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cyanide, what a perfectly apt quote to describe Griffin. In all reality, he could have been everything I wished Dirk Nowitzki was.

 
At 8/21/2007 10:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This bowl of Condoleeza '99 goes out to Eddie, for I fail to deal with my vices in much the same manner.

 
At 8/21/2007 10:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"He was probably born into the game, now he can help somebody, and that's why he deserves a lifetime achievement award as a famous player..."

It's been said before, but J.R. Smith needs to wake the fuck up.

 
At 8/21/2007 11:39 PM, Anonymous The Gong said...

I might be the only avid basketball fanatic in the world that was completely shocked to see that he'd died.
This is a sad day.

 
At 8/22/2007 2:16 AM, Blogger Mr. Six said...

It's the failure to identify him for 5 days that sticks with me. It's horrifically lonely. Lonely in a way that, like Eddie himself, confounds expectations about pro athletes. Which I suppose is apropos, but to pick up on a theme in Shoals's post, just stinks of doom.

Can we retroactively nickname him the Ephemeron?

 
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