View Full Version : Eddie Griffin Killed In Crash

08-21-2007, 07:18 PM
Former Rocket Eddie Griffin killed in crash with train

06:57 PM CDT on Tuesday, August 21, 2007

By Jeff McShan / 11 News

Former Houston Rockets forward Eddie Griffin was killed in crash with a train last week 11 News confirmed Tuesday. Griffin, who spent two troubled seasons with the Rockets, crashed through a railroad crossing arm and collided with a train.

Former Rockets forward Eddie Griffin was killed when his SUV collided with a train last week.

The Harris County Medical Examiner was unable to confirm his identity until they used dental records to positively identify him Tuesday.

According to Houston police, Griffin was driving a Nissan SUV in the 5300 block of Lawndale when he crashed through a railroad-crossing arm and was stuck by a train.

Griffin was pronounced dead on the scene, but his body was burned beyond recognition and there were no signs of identification in the car.

08-21-2007, 07:24 PM
Former Rockets forward Griffin dies at 25

Copyright 2007 Houston Chronicle

The Harris County Medical Examiner's office has identified former Rockets power forward Eddie Griffin as the man who died when the SUV he was driving plowed into a moving train in southeast Houston last week.

Officials said Griffin, 25, drove his SUV through a railroad crossing barrier and into a moving train about 1:30 a.m. on Aug. 17. The vehicle burst into flames on impact, damaging Griffin's body so badly that investigators had to use his dental records to verify his identity Tuesday.

Griffin, whom the Rockets acquired for three first-round draft picks in 2001, faced off-court troubles throughout his NBA career. A power forward, he was released by the Rockets in 2003 after several run-ins with the law.

He played briefly in New Jersey for the Nets before moving to Minnesota to play for the Timberwolves, who waved him in March.

``If this is true, then Eddie is free now,'' said former Rockets guard and NBA coach John Lucas, who worked with Griffin in Lucas' Houston-based substance rehabilitation program. ``I'm just sad. Just so sad.''

08-21-2007, 07:29 PM
Wow i just read this and It surprised the hell out of me...Crazzzzyyyyy stuff...I didnt like him as a player..but still soo saddd..he was sooo young..mann..these guys

08-21-2007, 07:52 PM
Sad... very sad... R.I.P.

08-21-2007, 08:39 PM
holy crap!! RIP!! that is sad

08-21-2007, 09:02 PM
My sincere condolences to all of E.G's relatives and Minny fans, this is a terrible tragedy! Somebody better check that vehicle to see if the brakes were manufactured in China because I have no F'ing idea what could cause someone to crash through railroad crossing barriers into an oncoming train!

I REMEMBER, BUT DON'T WANT TO THINK IT (http://www.dallas-mavs.com/vb/showthread.php?t=26222&highlight=eddie+griffin)

08-21-2007, 09:30 PM
i hate to see that, very sad

08-21-2007, 09:53 PM
Well, bird, a girl I knew crashed into a train when she was commiting suicide......
Another friend was just drunk...

08-21-2007, 10:31 PM
I liked him as an on-court player, but off the court, the dude had serious issues and I really had a feeling something like this might happen...

RIP Eddie

08-21-2007, 10:42 PM
It's a terrible tragedy, condolences to his family. He was a decent player, I wouldnt have minded him on the Mavericks backing up Dirk and playing some center minutes.

08-21-2007, 10:57 PM
How sad =(... i was VERY surprise to hear about this especially since he was pretty young.

08-21-2007, 10:58 PM
WTF?! Dang... RIP. Real tragic and surprising.

08-21-2007, 11:25 PM
This is sad. He had alot of talent and he could have been so much but he did have tremendous off court issues. If he had ever developed and wanted to play down low and he was hard to stop, plus MN needed an inside man, but he would always go back outside.

I knew if he ever mastered and wasn't afraid to play inside and he could listen to his coaches, calm his life down in the real world, he was going to have a nice career in the nba. He had some very nice games with just sheer talent and sort of free lancing around.

Sorry to hear about him getting killed.

08-21-2007, 11:37 PM
I REMEMBER, BUT DON'T WANT TO THINK IT (http://www.dallas-mavs.com/vb/showthread.php?t=26222&highlight=eddie+griffin)

That's the first thing I thought when I saw this headline...


08-21-2007, 11:48 PM

08-21-2007, 11:59 PM
very sad, too bad he could not turn his life around..

he could have been commiting suicide or drugged up and making poor decisions.

08-22-2007, 12:26 AM
only 25....

really wonder what happened in his short life.

08-22-2007, 01:00 AM
I had forgotten he was this young. Very sad.

08-22-2007, 02:02 AM
How sad. My sympathies to his family and friends.

08-22-2007, 04:13 AM
Griffin's tragic life a story of talent and temptation

http://assets.espn.go.com/i/columnists/Adande_J.A._55.jpg (http://x.go.com/cgi/x.pl?goto=http://search.espn.go.com/keyword/search?searchString=ja_adande&name=SEARCH_m_archive&srvc=sz)
By J.A. Adande

Updated: August 22, 2007

These are various thoughts and observations, prompted by a tragic story.
This is coming from a distance, words about a person I don't know well, about a death whose precise circumstances we don't yet know for sure.

Was Eddie Griffin (http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/players/profile?statsId=3517) trying to kill himself when he drove his SUV past railroad gates and flashing lights and into the side of a moving freight train in Houston last week? It will likely be some time before an investigation is complete, just as it took more than four days to identify Griffin because his body was burned so badly in the fiery crash that dental records were required for identification.

David Sherman/NBAE via Getty Images
Griffin had dominant physical skills, but other aspects of the NBA life came harder.

But what we do know of Griffin is this: The stream of incidents, arrests and unsuccessful stints in rehabilitation centers allows us to list him as Exhibit A in the argument that just because you can enter the NBA, that doesn't mean you should.

An ex-player I talked to Tuesday called Griffin "a perfect example of a kid who shouldn't have went to the NBA early."

I saw the other extreme over the weekend in Las Vegas, where young men with zero or one year of college experience such as LeBron James (http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/players/profile?statsId=3704), Dwight Howard (http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/players/profile?statsId=3818) and Kevin Durant (http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/players/profile?statsId=4244) were gathered for the Team USA training camp. These are people who have stayed out of trouble, who seem capable of handling the extreme world of the NBA. Griffin's failures should not be a reason to deny opportunities for those who are ready.

But they should serve as a warning, a reminder that the most important part of college isn't the course credits, it's the socialization. It's about making the transition to adulthood in a sheltered environment where the mistakes aren't as costly as in the real world.

It's clear Griffin never learned to be responsible or accountable during his one year at Seton Hall or the six seasons he spent in the NBA. Maybe his problems were too serious for anyone in the league to deal with, even if teams' top priorities hadn't been making money and winning games. Regardless, it was the wrong environment for someone so unstable -- youth and money and loads of unsupervised time were a toxic combination for him.

Griffin also is a case study in the temptation of talent.

Because of a fight with a teammate, he had to finish high school by studying at home instead of going to class and walking across a stage to get his diploma. In his year at Seton Hall, he punched out a teammate in the locker room.

Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty
Griffin's defensive specialty was the blocked shot, as even stars such as Kobe Bryant learned.

And yet the Rockets traded the rights to their three first-round draft picks (Jason Collins (http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/players/profile?statsId=3530), Richard Jefferson (http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/players/profile?statsId=3523) and Brandon Armstrong (http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/players/profile?statsId=3537)) to get Griffin's draft rights in 2001.

While in Houston, Griffin pleaded guilty in an assault case, and yet the Nets and then the Minnesota Timberwolves (http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/clubhouse?team=min) signed him to free-agent contracts. He later was jailed for violating probation, and yet the Timberwolves re-signed him, this time to a three-year, $8.1 million extension. They wound up cutting him loose in March.

Before his self-destructive tendencies turned deadly, they were expensive. Before he cost those who loved him the chance to see him again, he cost teams money, players and time. But who's to blame for that?

There's a blinding arrogance teams get when they covet talent. They think they can make it work for them, when all the evidence suggests otherwise.

I can't believe some of the strange and sad phrases associated with Griffin that came out while doing some research on him. These old news stories here (http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/wire?section=nba&id=1766902) and here (http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?id=2102750) (which I found through a Minnesota-based web site called MNspeak.com) contained the unusual charge of "deadly conduct" and a probation violation for "consorting with disreputable people."

In March of 2004 Griffin plea-bargained to a misdemeanor charge of deadly conduct after facing a felony charge of aggravated assault that stemmed from an accusation that he punched and shot at a woman who came across Griffin with another woman in his Houston house. That prompts two questions: (1) How can something as serious-sounding as "deadly conduct" only be a misdemeanor? (2) In retrospect, wasn't his adult life an extended episode of deadly conduct, one practically destined for an early fatality?

The deadly conduct guilty plea resulted in an 18-month probation. While serving it, Griffin was sentenced to 15 days in jail because he was at a Houston nightclub when a fight broke out.

A court official said Griffin violated probation because he was "consorting with disreputable people." I wonder how many people would be better off if we consistently made that a jailable offense, if we forced them to choose between the company they keep and their best interests.

We've seen how Michael Vick (http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/players/profile?statsId=5448) was unable to escape his crowd and its dogfighting culture. While Griffin, apparently, was not surrounded by people who could guide him to the right path, in the end he wasn't able to escape himself.

The 2001 draft (http://www.nba.com/draft2001/draft_board.html?nav=TextNavBar) is starting to resemble the cursed class of 1986 (http://www.basketball-reference.com/draft/NBA_1986.html) when it comes to tragedy and disappointment.

Griffin's death follows the failure of No. 1 overall pick Kwame Brown (http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/players/profile?statsId=3511) in Washington, the unrealized potential of Tyson Chandler (http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/players/profile?statsId=3512) and the bad behavior of Zach Randolph (http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/players/profile?statsId=3531) that caused the Trail Blazers to dump a 20-and-10 guy for a player they didn't even want to keep.

Likewise, the 1986 draft was overshadowed by the cocaine-overdose death of Len Bias, and drug-wasted careers of Chris Washburn and Roy Tarpley, plus the injury-shortened career of top pick Brad Daugherty.

One of my first reactions to the sad news was that I never really got to know Eddie Griffin. Later I realized that's because he never played in the playoffs. The playoffs are when casual fans get to know players' names and faces, and when we in the media get to know out-of-town players' personalities. You spend a week or two with a team over the course of a series and you get a little sense for who they are. But he never played in May, a sad reflection on his career and the teams that acquired him.

If most sports fans remember him at all, it's probably because last year he was in a car crash that witnesses said occurred because he was driving while watching a porno DVD and masturbating. That was good for a few yuks around the blogosphere. But maybe we should have taken it more seriously, recognizing it for what it was, a sign of his descent.

It was a warning that went ignored, just as, surely, some other unprepared teenager will someday fail to pay attention to the lessons of Eddie Griffin, and some team will take that risk.

Link (http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/columns/story?columnist=adande_ja&page=EddieGriffin)

Very sad.

RIP Eddie.

08-22-2007, 11:47 AM
He was very talented for a big center, didn't he have a 3 point shot as well? I remember him to be very talented. I truly sucks he died. I think the atmosphere in the Dallas lockerroom would have done some good to him.

08-22-2007, 01:59 PM
Andray Blatch meet Eddie Griffin.

08-22-2007, 06:52 PM
so sad...........~~~~