- Ramona Shelburne, ESPN Senior Writer
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The Clippers on Tuesday announced a news conference for the
presentation of a major NBA award.
The high-flying rookie from Oklahoma had one of the best rookie season's in NBA history. He averaged 22.5 points, 12.1 rebounds and 3.8 assists.
The 6-foot-10 power forward made the West All-Star team, becoming the first rookie All-Star in eight years, since Yao Ming in 2003, and even won the dunk contest in front of his Staples Center fans with an iconic dunk while flying over a car.
He was so dominant, the Rookie of the Year award was a virtual lock for the last two months of the season.
"If someone doesn't vote for Blake, they haven't watched a lot of basketball," Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro said before the team's season finale against the Memphis Grizzlies on April 13.
Griffin sat out all 82 games last season after hurting his knee in the final preseason game and having surgery. He was the only player to appear in every game this season when injuries plagued the team.
Griffin was named the Western Conference's Rookie of the Month six times, becoming the first player to sweep that award since Chris Paul did it with New Orleans in 2005-06.
The power forward had 63 double-doubles while single-handedly energizing the Clippers, who still missed the playoffs for the 13th time in 14 seasons. Los Angeles went 32-50 in its 18th non-winning season in the past 19 years, but Griffin's nightly acrobatics and toughness always made the Clippers interesting.
Griffin was the NBA's fourth-leading rebounder and the 12th-leading scorer -- the only rookie among the league's top 45 scorers and top 20 rebounders.
Washington's John Wall, the No. 1 pick last summer, was Griffin's only significant competition for the award, but Griffin could win the award unanimously. Sacramento's Tyreke Evans won the award last season.
Griffin will be the first Clippers player to win the award since the star-crossed franchise moved to Los Angeles in 1984. Terry Cummings won it with the San Diego Clippers after the 1982-83 season, while Adrian Dantley, Bob McAdoo and Ernie DiGregorio won the award during a five-year stretch with the Buffalo Braves, who moved to San Diego in 1978.
Ramona Shelburne is a columnist and reporter for ESPNLosAngeles.com. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.
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