Wednesday , Aug , 22 , 2007 Oly Sandor

Kind Words For Former Minnesota Timberwolves Forward Eddie Griffin

“Eddie Griffin is someone who was never a super loud or boisterous guy in the locker room, but he was someone who everyone loved in the locker room,” Madsen said. “When he was doing well on the court we were all so happy for him. And when he was struggling, we were all struggling right there with him” …

The Associated Press reports on Eddie Griffin passing away in a car accident:

 The former Minnesota Timberwolves forward died last week when his sport utility vehicle collided with a freight train in a fiery crash, the Harris County medical examiner’s office said Tuesday.

 

Investigators used dental records to identify Griffin, 25, who began his pro career with the Houston Rockets in 2001. He was waived by the Timberwolves in March.

The 6-foot-10 Griffin averaged 7.2 points, 5.8 rebounds and 1.71 blocks in five NBA seasons. Born in Philadelphia, Griffin was one of the nation’s top freshmen at Seton Hall in 2000-2001 and was named to the NBA All-Rookie second team in 2002

My Quick Take: Many journalists have re-hashed Griffin’s off-court troubles when reporting on this story. That’s tough, but fair. Griffin had some past issues with drunk driving. He also got caught in several off-court incidents. At the time of his death, Griffin was out of the NBA, working to get another shot with a professional team.

But many people had kind words for Griffin.

Former teammate Mark Madsen:

"Eddie Griffin is someone who was never a super loud or boisterous guy in the locker room, but he was someone who everyone loved in the locker room," Madsen said. "When he was doing well on the court we were all so happy for him. And when he was struggling, we were all struggling right there with him."

Wolves’ GM Kevin McHale:

"The entire Minnesota Timberwolves organization is deeply saddened by this tragic news," the statement said. "Eddie will be missed by everyone who knew him."

Former Sixers’ coach and substance abuse counselor John Lucas:

It’s very unfortunate what happened to him. There but for the grace of God go I," said Lucas, who overcame substance-abuse problems as a young man. "He had a lot of things going on. He had talked about going overseas to play, but that was a long way from happening. I tried to get him to do other things, but he needed his freedom. He’s free now."

My thoughts go out to his friends, family, and former teammates.

Click here to read and subscribe to Oly Sandor’s NBA Blog.