Despite his outstanding stats at Seton Hall, questions about his attitude made him slip to the 7th pick of the 2001 NBA Draft, where he was selected by the New Jersey Nets. Griffin’s draft rights were immediately traded to the Houston Rockets for the rights to Jason Collins, Brandon Armstrong and Richard Jefferson (all selected as well in the 2001 draft).
In his rookie year during the 2001–02 season, Griffin played in 73 games (starting 24) while averaging 8.8 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 1.84 blocks per game (ranking 13th in the NBA in that category). He followed with another solid year in 2002–03, averaging 8.6 points, 6.0 rebounds, and 1.44 blocks per contest.
However, Griffin suffered from alcoholism, and his troubles piled up quickly over the following year. In December 2003, the Rockets released him after he missed practices and a team flight. Griffin signed with the Nets in January 2004, but missed the entire 2003-04 season when he entered an alcohol rehabilitation center. Eddie Griffin died as a result of a car crash on August 17, 2007. Houston police said in a report that Griffin ignored a railroad warning and went through a barrier before striking a moving train. The resulting fire burned Griffin’s SUV and the side of a railcar carrying plastic granules. He had more than three times the legal alcohol limit in his system when he crashed, according to an autopsy report.