Is it time for ESPN to consider a separate category for Blake Griffin dunk highlights. The former Sooner is a threat to take over the Top 10 Plays every night the Clippers play. How about The Daily Dunk, powered by Blake Griffin.
Watch last night’s highlight slam (above) and then consider Griffin’s soaring popularity:
– Clipper fans are now booing teammates for not passing to him. Clippers fans have always booed, the difference is why they’re booing.
– Opposing coaches are underrating him by comparing him to established superstars. Who thought getting compared to Amare Stoudemire would be a come down, but who has seen Amare soar like this? Of course, a certain Oklahoman staff member (who shall remain nameless, for now) once compared Blake to Udonis Haslem…
– Baron Davis drew his name in the Clippers’ Christmas gift exchange and got the former Oklahoma star a very useful gift.
Find out what the gift was in Los Angeles Times beat writer Lisa Dillman’s Clippers FYI package today. It’s all Blake, all the time. Here’s that dispatch in its entirety.
There’s mounting evidence that the best dunkers in the NBA either play for Oklahoma City or are from the OKC.
ESPN SportsCenter’s poll this morning asks viewers to vote for their favorite dunk of the NBA season. Two Thunder players — Russell Westbrook and James Harden — are among the five choices, as is OKC-born and University of Oklahoma bred monster dunker Blake Griffin.
Toronto forward DeMar DeRozan’s poster dunk over Charlotte’s Tyrus Thomas is the news peg for the poll, which could just as easily been a Pick Your Favorite Blake Griffin Dunk poll. Here’s a look at the SportsCenter candidates and a couple that didn’t make their cut but should have. Vote on your favorite with this thought in mind: What if if the NBA Slam Dunk finale is a Griffin-vs.-Westbrook showdown?
Russell Westbrook over the Rockets’ Shane Battier
Russell Westbrook tip jam vs. the Nets
James Harden over the Cavaliers’ J.J. Hickson
Blake Griffin dunkfest (pick one) against the Knicks
DeMar DeRozan over the Bobcats’ Tyrus Thomas
Derrick Rose vs. the Knicks
As recently as Tuesday morning, with rumors of him leaving for Pittsburgh having just been put to rest and reports about West Virginia gaining steam, some folks who know a lot about Oklahoma State football were still suggesting there’s a chance Dana Holgorsen would be in Stillwater next season.
I never understood that thinking, not with so many attractive coaching openings.
Not that being Oklahoma State’s offensive coordinator isn’t an attractive job, because it is. If, as West Virginia reports indicate, Holgorsen eventually graduates from offensive coordinator/coach-in-waiting to the Mountaineers’ head man in two seasons, he’ll become the third straight Cowboy offensive coordinator to become a head coach. That’s a pretty impressive record for Mike Gundy to run on if/when he starts recruiting his next OC.
So why wait? How could Holgorsen’s stock trade any higher than it is now? What more is there for him to accomplish at OSU? What could he prove next season that he hasn’t already?
Didn’t anyone notice that he still hasn’t signed his contract with Oklahoma State? Or that he is living in a Stillwater hotel? When you include the way he became Oklahoma State’s offensive coordinator — announced days after Gundy insisted he wouldn’t be hiring one — nothing about his tenure should have given anyone the idea he was in this for the long haul.
A few years ago Oklahoma State’s marketing folks got carried away and started proclaiming the Larry Fedora-coordinated unit as “the world’s most exciting offense.” Had they waited for Holgorsen they still would have been stretching the truth-in-advertising limits — blame Oregon and Chip Kelly — but not much. The surfer dude from Iowa Wesleyan took the Cowboys to offensive heights unseen.
Could he have done it again next season? Sure, but what would be the point?
Now it looks there’s a penthouse vacancy in the Hotel Pistols Firing. That’s a good thing, not a bad thing. And given all the fun and excitement the place produced this season, the tenant, landlord and everyone else who was paying attention should have seen it coming.
Outgoing Oklahoma offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson sounds like a guy who is “outgone.”
As the question of whether Wilson will coordinate OU’s offense in the Fiesta Bowl against Connecticut hangs for a couple more days/hours, consider the new Indiana head coach’s comments Thursday to Terry Hutchens of the Indianapolis Star: “My expectation is not to be there.”
Presumably, “there” is the Fiesta Bowl with the Sooners.
“My expectation is (Oklahoma’s) seniors and players deserve to win this game,” Wilson told the Indy Star. “If my being there can help us win that game and can be a positive, I’d be glad to do it. But the Oklahoma program is based on the thought that the program is bigger than any one person.
“So it wouldn’t be about me being there, but rather about this team winning this game.”
More from Wilson:
On the possibility of “helping out” but not handling the offensive coordinator duties:
“I want to wait and see what (OU coach Bob Stoops is) thinking in terms of the coordinator position. In the coordinator role it would be different than if I was just helping out by coaching my position, which was the tight ends and fullbacks. Maybe being a guy with ideas versus doing the daily processing and the daily game-planning.
“That would give me a chance to do some of my duties here behind the scenes and completing the staff and working with recruits. That way maybe I wouldn’t be worn too thin in the prep time.”
Sounds like it’s likely Wilson won’t be calling plays at the Fiesta Bowl, either because he’s devoting most of his time to assembling a staff at Indiana while consulting for the Sooners or because he’s already entrenched in Bloomington.
Read Hutchens’ entire article here.
Here’s a Blake Griffin highlight that won’t make the top-10 plays but could go viral. Reminds me of this old Larry Bird-Michael Jordan McDonald’s commercial:
Indiana’s hire of Oklahoma offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson as its next head football coach drew some rave reviews in Indianapolis — from the Colts.
Colts coach Jim Caldwell, who wanted to hire Wilson has his offensive coordinator when he was the head coach at Virginia: “He’s got an outstanding football mind,” Caldwell told Indianapolis Star columnist Bob Kravitz. “Like me, (Oklahoma head coach) Bob Stoops is also an Iowa guy, so we speak once in a while, and I can tell you, there’s not anybody in the country who doesn’t respect what he (Wilson) has done.
“It’s not just what he did with (former Oklahoma and current Rams quarterback) Sam Bradford. Even the quarterbacks before him, and going back to Northwestern, he created a very potent, spread-you-out kind of offense. He was really the first to maximize the kind of offense where the quarterback stands at the line of scrimmage, they get into a formation, then all of a sudden, they make adjustments according to how the defense lines up. He started that trend — or at least put it in vogue.”
Former OU tight end/center Brody Eldridge, now a backup with the Colts: “Those guys are going to love playing in his offense.”
Unfortunately for Wilson, the curse of Kelvin Sampson has already reared its head. It was only a matter of time when Indiana went to the Oklahoma well once more for a head coach. Writes Kravitz: “There’s only one small red flag: In 2008, Wilson committed a secondary violation by responding to a recruit’s text or e-mail with a text of his own. Compared to Kelvin Sampson, that’s rolling through a stop sign versus committing grand larceny.”
Indiana athletic directory Fred Glass on that Wilson’s secondary violation: “Yeah, we knew that, and we weren’t particularly bothered by it. We did an exhaustive check, and his reputation is that he’s one of the good guys. That wasn’t reflective of some chronic behavior. If the litmus test was hiring somebody who never had a secondary violation, I don’t know who I’d be standing up here with.”
This was Kravitz’s I-told-you-so to IU for the Sampson debacle. That wrote 16 paragraphs before mentioning it showed great restraint, in my opinion. Read the entire column here.