Eddie Griffin (basketball)

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Eddie Griffin
Eddie Griffin basketball player.jpg
Personal information
Born (1982-05-30)May 30, 1982
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Died August 17, 2007(2007-08-17) (aged 25)
Houston, Texas
Nationality American
Listed height 6 ft 10 in (2.08 m)
Listed weight 240 lb (109 kg)
Career information
High school Roman Catholic
(Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)
College Seton Hall (2000–2001)
NBA draft 2001 / Round: 1 / Pick: 7th overall
Selected by the New Jersey Nets
Playing career 2001–2007
Position Power forward / Center
Number 33, 41
Career history
20012003 Houston Rockets
20042007 Minnesota Timberwolves
Career highlights and awards

Eddie Jamaal Griffin (May 30, 1982 – August 17, 2007) was an American professional basketball player from Philadelphia. He last played for the NBA's Minnesota Timberwolves, who waived him on March 13, 2007. Months later, he was killed in a car crash.

College career

After a standout career at Roman Catholic High School in Philadelphia in which he was named Parade Magazine's National Player of the Year, he competed in the McDonald's All American Game and led Roman to the Philadelphia Catholic League Championship in his junior and senior years. However, in a harbinger of things to come, Griffin was forced to finish his senior year via correspondence courses after getting in a fight with a teammate.[1]

As a freshman, Griffin averaged 17.8 points, 10.7 rebounds and 4.4 blocks for Seton Hall, and was at one point thought to be a potential top pick in the 2001 NBA draft. He was named the nation's Freshman of the Year by The Sporting News.[2]

In January 2001, Griffin got in a fight with teammate Ty Shine. Griffin left the school in somewhat acrimonious circumstances after his freshman year, and made himself available for the NBA Draft.[3] Shortly before the draft, Griffin's half-brother Marvin Powell died of a heart attack.[4][5]

NBA career

Despite Griffin's outstanding freshman year at Seton Hall, questions about his attitude made him slip to the seventh pick of the 2001 NBA draft, where he was selected by the New Jersey Nets, who immediately traded his rights to the Houston Rockets for the rights to Jason Collins, Brandon Armstrong and Richard Jefferson (all selected as well in the 2001 draft).

In his rookie year, Griffin played in 73 games (starting 24) while averaging 8.8 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 1.84 blocks per game (ranking 13th in the NBA in that category). He followed with another bad year in 2002–03, averaging 8.6 points, 6.0 rebounds, and 1.44 blocks per contest.

However, Griffin suffered from alcoholism, and his troubles piled up quickly over the following year. In December 2003, the Rockets released him after he missed practices and a team flight. Griffin signed with the Nets in January 2004, but missed the entire 2003–04 season when he entered an alcohol rehabilitation center.

Prior to the 2004–05 season, the Timberwolves signed Griffin to a one-year contract, and for that season he posted roughly the same numbers he had in his two previous seasons. The Timberwolves re-signed Griffin for three years (player option in the third), starting with the 2005–06 season. Griffin had a relatively significant drop off in scoring and rebounding (while suffering only a slight drop in minutes per game), while averaging a career-high in blocks per game (2.11).

In March 2006, Griffin was involved in a car accident in which he rammed his SUV into a parked car. This came shortly after a stop-off at a nearby convenience store where a security video tape caught Griffin professing his intoxication.[6]

In March 2007, Griffin was released by the Timberwolves.[7][8]

In 303 NBA games (117 starts), Griffin averaged 7.2 points, 5.8 rebounds, 0.8 assists, 1.7 blocks, and 22:12 of floor time per game.


Griffin died as a result of a car crash on August 17, 2007, at approximately 1:30 a.m.[9] Houston police said in a report that Griffin ignored a railroad warning and went through a barrier before striking a moving train. The resulting fire burned Griffin's SUV and the side of a railcar carrying plastic granules.[9] Griffin's body was badly burned and there was no initial identification. Dental records later revealed the man was Griffin. He had more than three times the legal alcohol limit in his system when he crashed, according to an autopsy report. The Harris County Medical Examiner's office said the 25-year-old Griffin died of "multiple blunt force injuries." The medical examiner's office performed tests on Griffin's bile and blood from his heart and liver and determined his blood-alcohol level was 0.26; the legal limit in Texas is 0.08. Tests found no traces of cocaine, barbiturates or any other narcotics.[10] Former Timberwolves coach Dwane Casey said he had not talked to Griffin in five or six months, but he knew that Griffin was spending the summer trying to get back in shape to play in Europe the next season.[11] He was buried in Northwood Cemetery in Philadelphia.[12] At the time of his death he had a three-year-old daughter named Amaree.[13]


  1. ^ Adande, J. A. (2007-08-22). "Griffin's tragic life a story of talent and temptation". ESPN.
  2. ^ "The Sporting News: Freshman of the Year". Sporting News. Archived from the original on 2009-04-17. Retrieved 2012-01-29.
  3. ^ "ESPN: Griffin leaves Seton Hall in quandary". ESPN.com. 2001-09-18. Retrieved 2012-01-29.
  4. ^ Jensen, Mike (August 26, 2007). "Eddie Griffin's terrible end". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved May 31, 2016.
  5. ^ Beck, Howard (August 23, 2007). "Comeback Chance for Griffin Ends in Fiery Crash". The New York Times. Retrieved May 31, 2016.
  6. ^ Tape shows T-Wolves' Griffin saying he was drunk after crash, posted June 30, 2006
  7. ^ "Wolves release Griffin". NBA.com. March 14, 2007.
  8. ^ "Timberwolves waive F Eddie Griffin". USA Today. Associated Press. March 14, 2007. Retrieved May 31, 2016. |first1= missing |last1= in Authors list (help)
  9. ^ a b "Griffin killed when car hit train last week". Sports.espn.go.com. August 22, 2007.
  10. ^ "Autopsy shows Griffin had more than 3 times blood-alcohol limit". Espn.com. October 26, 2007.
  11. ^ "NBA News, Videos, Scores, Standings, Stats, Teams, Schedule – FOX Sports on MSN". Msn.foxsports.com. Archived from the original on 2007-08-24. Retrieved 2012-01-29.
  12. ^ Philly.com via Legacy
  13. ^ Griffin's Funeral Brings Together Those Who Knew 'A Great Kid' Archived 2007-09-27 at the Wayback Machine., posted August 29, 2007

External links

  • Career statistics at Basketball-Reference.com
  • NBA.com Profile - Eddie Griffin
  • Eddie Griffin at Find a Grave
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