Peace, Love and Thunderstanding: Don’t Be a Clark Matthews

Going into the draft night in 2009, the NBA sources I trusted most were telling me that the draft class contained two players who could transform a franchise. The first was Blake Griffin, the Oklahoma City kid who starred for the Sooners for two seasons, who was a lock to go first overall to the Clippers. Ricky Rubio was the other.


I had a huge (draft) crush on Rubio that season. The Spanish national had started playing for the best team in Spain at 16 and started at point guard for the national team in the 2008 Olympics. I was convinced he was going to revolutionize the sport the way Pete Maravich did and I wanted him to do it while passing the ball to Kevin Durant. Unfortunately, in a draft that had two impact players, the Thunder had the third pick.


Then, rumors started filtering out that the owner of the Memphis Grizzlies was mandating that the team select UConn giant, and future Thunder bench warmer, Hasheem Thabeet at pick two. At the same time, Thunder news sources were circulating reports that OKC had hired a big-time Spanish lawyer to negotiate a buyout with Rubio's Euroleage team. The stars seemed to be aligning for me.


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