Former Timberwolf Eddie Griffin died last week after he drove his SUV headlong into an oncoming train. The crash was so bad it took a number of days to figure out it was Eddie Griffin behind the wheel.
Eddie G. had a lot of problems. Problems with alcohol. Problems with anger. Problems with guns. But to hear his Wolves teammates tell it, he was a gentle soul, albeit a gentle soul who had a lot of problems.
Eddie Griffin had a lot of talent. He had an uncanny knack for blocking shots, and he could hit threes and get boards when properly motivated. But everybody knew he had demons he struggled with every day. In the end, he was more punchline than anything. When he got pulled over for driving while masturbating to a DVD in his car, he was shortly thereafter caught on tape telling people he would buy them a car if they would just keep the incident quiet. That is, as long as they didn’t want a Bentley. He would buy them anything but a Bentley. He was only 25.
It’s strange, but it matters, the way people kill themselves. Gunshot, overdose, jump from a building…we pay attention to the way people do themselves in. They are all gone, but somehow it matters. When Friend of Pipeline MikeB told me tonight that Eddie G ran headlong into an oncoming train, for some reason it hit me harder than if he had simply shot himself. I don’t quite understand why or how it matters, but it does.
Eddie Griffin had so many reasons to turn his life around, and so many opportunities to do so. Sometimes it’s not enough.
RIP, Eddie G.