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Eddie Griffin, Swirling Down The Drain

The enormously talented Eddie Griffin
is out of the NBA
: after the Nets picked him up (after he was cut by the
Rockets), he checked into rehab and has not played for the Nets at all.
They were nice enough to give him $125,000.

Griffin, who we should point out is just barely of legal
drinking age, has had significant problems at every stop: kicked off his high
school team, hugely disruptive for Tommy Amaker at Seton Hall, and a troubled
alcoholic at 21.

We take no pleasure in this young man's problems, but it is,
again, instructive: most young men, regardless of their talent, are not ready
for the NBA.

We're not advocating for Catholic education, but in both high
school and college, he was presented with teachers who had a clear focus and a
functional moral framework. In other words, if he had taken his education
seriously, if he had actually talked to the's not that he has to
be a Catholic, or anything for that matter, but education is supposed to help
structure your view of the world. He could have ended up an atheist for
all we care. He would still have the tools he needs to build a life,
rather than simply party and play ball all the time. That's a nice life for a
few months, but reality always butts in.

The endless focus we have on wealth and celebrity does nothing
to nurture the soul or the mind. Eddie Griffin has neglected both.
Here's hoping he can step back, regroup, and find his way again. He is an
extraordinary talent, but even the most brilliant talent has to be
grounded. No one tells these kids that when they grab the brass ring,
largely because many of the people who "advise" them do so with their
hands out.