The Los Angeles Clippers won the NBA Draft lottery 11 years ago today and hoped for better luck with their pick than they had after winning the 1998 NBA Draft lottery.
In 1998, they used the first overall on Michael Olowokandi, a center out of the University of Pacific. The team had high hopes for him, but he struggled with efficiency and free throw percentage in the NBA and was never dominant in any aspect of the game. He spent five seasons with the Clippers and nine in the NBA but never lived up to the hype of a top draft pick.
In 2009 the Clippers selected Blake Griffin, a power forward out of Oklahoma. After sitting out a season because of a knee injury, Griffin won Rookie of the Year and developed into a star player.
He was known for his electrifying dunks and helped turn the Clippers into a playoff contender. Unfortunately for them, they never had much success in the playoffs despite having Griffin, Chris Paul and Deandre Jordan. After eight seasons and no NBA Finals appearances Griffin was traded to the Detroit Pistons.
Ironically, the Clippers may have their best shot at a title this season even though they didn’t draft either of their best players, Kawhi Leonard and Paul George.