Tom Ziller wrote a piece about Doc and Austin Rivers today and it got me thinking about our own extended NBA family member, Taylor Griffin. Taylor is Blake's big brother, and the two played together at Oklahoma, both entering the NBA draft in 2009. Of course the Clippers made Blake the first overall pick of the draft, while Taylor had to wait a little longer, being taken in the second round, number 48 overall, by the Phoenix Suns.
Taylor defied the odds for most second round picks and made the Suns roster that season, but played only 32 minutes in the NBA. He also spent some time in the D-League with the Iowa Energy that season.
Waived by the Suns in July 2010, Taylor headed to Europe to play in the Belgian league for the team in Liège. He tried to make it back to the association after the lockout ended, signing with Bobcats last December, but he was one of their last cuts and went instead to the D-League.
Playing for the Dakota Wizards last season, he averaged 6.2 points and 4.5 rebounds in 30 games. Then in the offseason he caught a real break. No, he didn't get back to the NBA. Instead, the Golden State Warriors bought the Dakota franchise as their direct feeder team and decided to move them to Santa Cruz and rename them the Warriors.
So now, instead of living in Bismarck, North Dakota, where the average high temperature in January is 21 degrees (that's Fahrenheit, and that's the high, 11 degrees below freezing) he now lives on the beach in California in Santa Cruz, where the average low temperature in January is 41. That's correct, the average low in Santa Cruz is 20 degrees warmer than the average high in Bismarck. The high is about 60. Go Warriors!
Taylor may not ever make it back to the NBA -- it's not looking good at any rate. But he's getting paid to play basketball and living in Santa Cruz. And being in California at this point, he'll no doubt get to see a lot more of his little brother now.
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