19 July 2011
#4 Darrell Griffith
Only the greats get nicknames, and the rare few get two. Darrell Griffith is one of those. Known in college as "Dr. Dunkenstein", he led the 1980 Louisville team to the NCAA title.
Griffith won the rookie of the year in 1980 and led the Jazz to their first playoff appearence ever.
He and Dantley became a powerful duo on the court.
During the 83-85 seasons Griffith was first in the league in 3-pt. field goals, 3-pt attempts, and in 83-84 led the league in %(.361).
While the three point line was introduced a few years before, the numbers and stats show how reluctant teams were to use the three point shot. Even Larry Bird, who only averaged 1.3 makes per game during his career, was still a little reluctant to shoot the ball. The three ball in those days was considered a gimmick.
Darrell, held the all-time 3 point record (246) at the end of 83-84 season. At the time this number was amazing, but as the league proggressed it would soon become obsolete. Here is a look at the current list, which makes the 246 laughable.
In the 05-06 season Ray Allen, a top 3 all-time shooter, had 269 (3.28 makes per game) in one season. This just shows the evolution of the three point shot, which is an entirely different discussion.
Over his entire career "The Golden Griff" (courtesy of Hot Rod Hundley) shot 46% from the field and toward the later end of his career relied a lot on his jump shot. As his body wore down he just didn't get to the rim as much. His first two seasons he got to the FT line more than his last five season combined.
One of Darrell's greatest moves was the transition pull up jumper. Quite possible, one that he taught Stockton who we will talk about later in these posts.
Here is a great compilation video of The Golden Griff.
Side Notes- Griffith spent his entire ten year career with the Utah Jazz. They retired his number (35) on Dec 4, 1993
This is part four in five part series called "The Greatest Shooters in Utah Jazz history" for #5 click here.
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