Destiny, folks in Oklahoma called it.
Following the 2008-09 season, the Oklahoma City Thunder was missing one piece, a big man.
And the consensus college player of the year, who was leading the nation in rebounding and double-doubles, just happened to be an Oklahoma City native who was playing 20 miles away.
And this player, a 6-foot-10 forward named Blake Griffin, just happened to be declaring that year for the NBA draft.
Meanwhile, the Thunder just happened to be terrible in 2008-09 (23-59), giving it a shot at the homegrown star in the lottery.
"It was up to the pingpong balls," Griffin said Wednesday before his first game against the Thunder.
They bounced the way of the Clippers, who had a 17.7% chance at landing the top pick in 2009, instead of the Thunder, which had an 11.9% chance.
"I thought about it," Griffin said of the possibility that fate was lining up for him to stay and play in-state, "but I didn't put too much thought into it … because they didn't have any control over it and neither did I."
Thunder Coach Scott Brooks said his team wasn't aiming to be in the lottery that season, and that if the Thunder won the first pick, he wasn't sure whom they would have drafted.
But even Brooks knew that line, which gave the assembled media a hearty laugh, wasn't true.
"Blake is a terrific guy," he said. "The Clippers are lucky to have him."
Bumps and bruises
Clippers Coach Vinny Del Negro said point guard Baron Davis, who has struggled with conditioning and an apparent cyst behind his left knee that has caused swelling, is day-to-day and that he isn't sure whether Davis will play during the team's upcoming four-game trip. … Del Negro said guard Randy Foye, who strained his left hamstring Saturday at practice, will be out for at least another week.