Blake Griffin reveals one thing he did not like about how Clippers handled trade
Blake Griffin going from the LA Clippers to the Detroit Pistons in 2018 was one of the most shocking trades in recent NBA history. It turns out that Griffin was probably just as shocked as everyone else was at the time.
The six-time All-Star, who is now with the Brooklyn Nets, opened up about the Clippers trading him away in an interview this week on “In Depth with Graham Bensinger.” Griffin revealed the one thing that he did not like about how the team handled the whole situation.
“I understand, for sure, through a business point of view,” said Griffin. “I completely understand. A team wants to go a certain way. They had a plan. They wanted to win a championship very quickly, and they didn’t think that was going to happen with me there. I totally get that.
“The only thing we kinda wish they had gone about a different way, just the respect of letting your agent know so that hopefully both parties can work out a deal that they both want, that both works for them,” Griffin went on. “[I found out] when a friend had told me.”
The former No. 1 overall pick then told the story of how he called his agent after hearing the rumors, only for the Clippers front office not to pick up the phone when Griffin’s agent tried to get to the bottom of it. Griffin said that he then drove to the team facility to have a face-to-face talk with Clippers GM (Michael Winger, whom Griffin did not mention by name). It proved to be an awkward discussion with Winger beating around the bush and simply telling Griffin, “You’ll be the first call” if a trade ultimately materialized. On his drive home, Griffin then saw a tweet from ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reporting that the trade with the Pistons was being finalized.
Griffin is arguably the single greatest player in Clippers franchise history. He brought respect, relevance, and excitement to a historically awful team from the moment that they drafted him in 2009. But even if the Clippers’ current Kawhi Leonard-Paul George era would not have even been possible without trading Griffin, the abruptness was still a big shock, especially just months after the team had made a big show about having Griffin as a Clipper for life.
The 32-year-old still seemed to hold a grudge against the Clippers in recent years. But Griffin did say later in the interview that “it’s not like this thing where I’m just like, ‘I’m never gonna speak to these people again.'” Perhaps time will continue to thaw out whatever bad blood still remains here.
Photo: Dec 18, 2019; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Pistons forward Blake Griffin (23) warms up before the game against the Toronto Raptors at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports