With the 14th pick in the 2007 NBA draft, the Los Angeles Clippers selected Al Thornton.
To be honest, I thought Thornton was going to the 76'ers. Instead he is headed out west. Unfortunately, the Clippers have their small forward and shooting guard positions locked up. According to ESPN, the Clippers already have small forwards Quentin Ross and Corey Maggette and shooting guard Cuttino Mobley. So as disappointed as I am to say, I don't see Al Thornton starting much, if at all.
Despite the potential logjam, at least one Clipper fan thinks getting Thornton was not a bad idea. According to the highly respected Clips Nation: "There may be a bit of a crunch on the wing, finding enough minutes for Maggette, Mobley, Ross and Thornton, but that's not a bad problem to have." Perhaps Thornton will be one of those NBA "high-energy guys" off the bench and provide the Clippers "instant offense".
Conspiracy theory: Maybe the Clippers drafted Al Thornton to satisfy ESPN's Bill Simmons. Simmons has been a fan of Thornton since he wrote about Thornton's 45 point game against Miami in March. Maybe the thought in Clipper Land was that by drafting Al Thornton perhaps they can convince the famous ESPN scribe to re-up his season tickets. Obviously it would look quite bad if a national writer of Simmons' stature constantly put down the organization because of something as small as a price increase. Why not appease him by drafting a favorite of his?
(By the way, if this is true, please shoot me.)
With Thornton on the Clippers, now 50% of the Seminoles in the NBA play for the Los Angeles Clippers and all play in the NBA's Western Conference. We can now add Thornton to the exclusive list that includes Alexander Johnson (Grizzles), Von Wafer (Nuggets), and Thornton's new Clipper teammate, FSU legend Sam Cassell.
The bottom line, I guess, is that I'll be buying a Clippers "Thornton" jersey sometime in the near future. Go Al.