Some People's Kids: Eddie Griffin Dies In Crash

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Eddie Griffin Dies In Crash

The former Timberwolves forward lost his life when his SUV collided with a freight train in Houston, Texas. Investigators say Griffin ignored railway warnings and went around barriers at around 1:30 am on Friday. His body and vehicle were so badly burnt that dental records were needed to identify the body. ESPN got a hold of his attorney, Derek S. Hollingsworth, who had this to say:

"I was able this afternoon to get some dental records from the one dentist he had gone to see in Houston, and they were able to use that apparently to positively identify him."
The New Jersey Nets' seventh pick out of Seton Hall in the 2001 draft spent 2 full season with the Wolves before being released after 13 games last season. Griffin also spent time with the Houston Rockets who acquired him on draft night from the Nets for 3 first round draft picks. Griffin was released after his second season by the Rockets after issues with substance abuse and being accused of firing a weapon at his then girlfriend. The Forward averaged 7.2 points, 5.8 rebounds,1.7 blocks and 22.2 minutes.

Watching Eddie play you got the sense that there was greatness locked away deep down inside. There were nights when he was on fire whether it be hitting multiple threes, cleaning up the glass or blocking any and everything that KG couldn't manage to put his hand on. It was nights like that that justified the extension given to him by McHale. His inner demons got the most of him and lead to the downfall of his basketball career. Alcoholism is a terrible disease that ruins so many lives. Judging by the night and the time of the incident I don't believe it would be without merit to assume that it may have played a part in his tragic demise although investigators have yet to determine if alcohol was involved. The Houston Chronicle interviewed John Lucas about the incident.

"Eddie is free now," said former Rockets guard and NBA coach John Lucas, who worked with Griffin in Lucas' Houston-based rehabilitation program. "Eddie was just a special basketball talent. He was doing well for periods. He would go up and down mentally and spiritually. But Eddie was a good person.

"I'm just sad, just so sad."

He may have been the butt of a joke or two over here at SPK, but our best goes out to the Griffin family. It is always a tragedy when a life is lost at such an early age.

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