Tuesday, July 27th, 2010 at 1:24 pm  |  22 responses

Guest Post: Al-Farouq Aminu

Al F. Aminu on sunglasses, curses, Sin City and more!

by Maurice Bobb / @reesereport

The L.A. Clippers have long been the butt of many jokes for their draft mistakes (Michael Olowokandi is one of the biggest busts the L has ever seen), but over the last few seasons, they’ve made some very shrewd picks. Eric Gordon is looking like a steal at the No. 7 pick overall, DeAndre Jordan is coming along slowly but surely for a second-rounder, and let’s not forget about last year’s No. 1 overall selection, Blake Griffin. Almost everyone is ready to etch John Wall’s name on the Rookie of the Year trophy after his breakout performance in Vegas, but those same people would do well to remember that Griffin is eligible for the award considering that he didn’t play this past year due to injury. Make no mistake, Griffin will be a beast this upcoming season and be in serious contention for ROY. So the fact that the Clippers can’t get anything right is old hat and frankly, untrue.

With the eighth pick in the 2010 NBA Draft, Clipper Darrell’s favorite team chose Al-Farouq Aminu out of Wake Forest. A lot of fans didn’t know what to make of the baby-faced forward but his explosive athleticism, mid-range game, ability to run the floor and rebounding ability will prove to be a key component to Clipper Nation and complement Griffin and last year’s All-Star, Chris Kaman, in the frontcourt.

From the outset, Aminu exhibited his unique personality during the draft gauntlet, so I asked him to write a guest blog to give SLAM readers a small window into his world. I wish I could say I probed his mind for this information like Leonardo DiCaprio did in the movie, Inception, but alas, I don’t have Chris Nolan directing this post and I didn’t date Gisele Bündchen or Bar Refaeli (seriously, DiCaprio has been with some serious eye candyAl-Farouq Aminu). Anyway, here’s Aminu’s account in his own words:


by Al-Farouq Aminu / @farouq1


June 24, 2010 is a day that I will never forget. It was on that date, I was selected No. 8 overall from a pool of truly talented and gifted basketball players to enter into the NBA kingdom, and play for the L.A. Clippers. To let my Mom tell it, I’ve been playing basketball since the age of 3 and since then have never wanted to do anything else. My journey has led me from Norcross HS in Georgia to becoming a McDonald’s All-American, playing in the Jordan Brand Classic and ultimately gaining the interest of Wake Forest University, where I was a unanimous selection for the 2009 ACC All-Freshman Team. I love basketball; it’s in me. Don’t mistake my passion for an overdose on the sport, but there is nothing else I would rather do. Well, perhaps I’d play video games professionally if I could do that. As I begin my career as a professional basketball player—I like the ring to that, cue Jay-Z’s “Show Me What You Got”—I start to realize that my show is just beginning…


Let me just start off by saying that I was excited to go to Sin City, so I was completely focused on my game there. Maybe it had something to do with the fact that I am only 19 and there’s not much you can get into at my age. No black jack, poker or clubbing, straight to my room to prepare for the next day, the next game and the next win. I enjoyed playing in the Summer League. I got a sense and rhythm of playing with some of my new teammates. I saw some old friends that I played against in college and I got an opportunity to go head-to-head with players that were recently drafted with me. The Clippers did really well. We far superseded expectations this year and gave our fans that traveled from L.A. to sit in the seats of UNLV’s Thomas Mack Center, a great show. My game was solid, but of course as the season goes on my game can only improve. Oh, and I got an “Honorable Mention” from… ahem, from my favorite basketball magazine, but I’ll let it slide this time. Summer League taught me the importance of teamwork and gave me a small taste of the energy that comes with playing in a NBA game. This season will be great, you can tell from the way we played in Vegas. It’s in the atmosphere. But on the flip side of the camaraderie that I experienced with my new teammates, the heat in Vegas was on another level. It should be against the law to be that hot. One-hundred eighteen-degree weather is just insane.


If the Clippers curse was real then I wouldn’t be playing on the team. You know a young, suave brother like me, Al F. Aminu (and the F is for “Flow”). No seriously, there is no “Clipper Curse.” I was humbled in the fact that the Clippers allowed me to live out my dream. With anything in life, things are cyclical — sometimes you’re up and other times you’re down, but the true measure of a person and in this respect, a team, is how you make things work when it seems that you’re going against all odds, possessing the heart of champion, even if you don’t have a championship ring or title, and weathering the storms to be victorious. The Clippers are and will always be a proud part of the L.A. sports landscape. I am proud to be a member of this organization and promise this will be a great season. Coach Del Negro has put together a great team and you will see our cohesiveness when we get out on the court in October. There is no “Clipper Curse.” The only “curse” you will see or rather hear is from the opposing team when I get on the court and put on a show. I’m ready for my rookie year to begin and gain the respect and love from the loyal Clipper fans.


L.A. is my home now and in my downtime, besides playing video games, I enjoy drawing and letting my artistic side come out. I recently went bike riding along the beach, which was cool and different. I can’t live without my iPhone 4 and maybe if Steve Jobs reads this article, I can add next time that I can’t live without my iPad, too! I’m exercising my entrepreneurial talents and working on a sunglass line as well. Overall, there is no other place I would want to be. Sunny beaches, great food and beautiful women. I love L.A. Go Clippers!

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  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    Clipper curse or not, the fact that Vinny Del Negro is your head coach is a curse in itself.

  • Bishop1405

    funny guy

  • lupe

    Tuck in that bottom lip, boy. Yous a lookin stoopid

  • darius

    anyone knows what glasses he was wearing on draft night?

  • total scrotal implosion

    Did a multimillionaire just lobby for a free ipad?

  • Leslie

    Cool guy. Seems humble. Hope he can really help the Clippers this season!

  • Tim

    Saw him play at the Summer League this year. He did a good job. Clippers got a good rookie in him. Want to see what he’ll do on the court during regular season.

  • WolfNast

    This dude is well-written. They must teach some good things at Wake Forest.

  • total scrotal implosion

    ‘this dude is well-written’? nobody taught wolf good things

  • http://Yahoo Shanoooooo

    Good Luck to the Kid

  • total scrotal implosion

    By ‘exercising my entrepreneurial talents’ he really mean, ‘use my new-found wealth to hatch a half-brained, hackninnyed plan to sell an unknown product in an oversaturated specialty market’. What could go wrong?

  • http://slamonline.com AlbertBarr

    @total: You, sir, obviously are NOT an entrepreneur. YOur question of “what could go wrong” is simply answered if you understand that failing is a natural part of any attempt at business. Being an entrepreneur doesnt equate to something being a “sure thing.” What would you rather him do with his $?

  • The Fresh Prince of Nsam

    Waoh, the Hate! A funny young black man, come in 2 talk enthousiastically about how excited he is 2 have landed the dream job of his life and what do u do? U critisize, “ridiculize” and pour out your venom.
    Get a life haters, get a life and if possible quit this site of real BBall enthousiasts. I’m getting really sick of all of u guys who always have something negative 2 say about any subject posted on this site.

  • http://www.twitter.com/gerardhimself Gerard Himself

    I really liked this article, and some of the stuff “Al F.” wrote was obviously tongue-in-cheek, what some people might have failed to notice. Entertaining guy, which makes me wonder: who will do the rookie diary this season?

  • kwame

    internet gangstas…always commenting with spite…it’s kinda funny…and pathetic…DO YOUR THING AMINU

  • drosefan13

    If they stay healthy, the Clippers could be an 8 seed in the playoffs at best. Del Negro isn’t a bad coach. He did coach the Bulls to the playoffs with a rookie point guard. Took the Celtics to a Game 7 in an all-time great series.

  • AKRAM47

    Good luck holmes.

  • WolfNast

    You want me to write well-spoken total? I know well written is wrong but he didn’t speak the blog he wrote it. Jesus.

  • peter

    I’m pretty excited to have such an articulate and diverse player on the clips. Enigmatic might be right though. curse or no curse (or rather good player or not) Vinny is not my first choice as a head replacement coach.

  • Jill

    He meant the article was well-written. He knows people can’t be well-written. Cut the dude some slack.

  • Renaldo


  • http://IjustWantMyNameToLookBig.com Chukaz

    Dude he shoulda used weezy’s line from drake’s song “miss me”. “F is for front door, cuz that’s were i bring it, zoo woo if you bang it mothaf*cka”