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#pounditWednesday, July 24, 2024

Reason why Blake Griffin declined to return to NBA revealed

Blake Griffin warms up before a game

Apr 25, 2022; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Brooklyn Nets forward Blake Griffin (2) warms up before game four of the first round of the 2022 NBA playoffs against the Boston Celtics at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Once the NBA’s highest-flying player, Blake Griffin’s NBA career ended with barely a whimper. Now we have a better idea of why.

Brian Robb of MassLive reported Monday that multiple Boston Celtics players have reached out to Griffin throughout the season in the hopes of convincing him to return to the team. Several of them reportedly contacted Griffin during the team’s West Coast trip in December. The outreach to Griffin has also continued in recent weeks, Robb adds.

However, Griffin, who went unsigned through the entire offseason as well, has declined all of their overtures to this point. After practice on Monday, Celtics head coach Joe Mazzulla addressed the team’s interest in bringing back Griffin. Mazzulla said that Griffin turned down their interest out of a desire to spend more time with his family.

“When he told me at the end of last year that his family was the most important thing, I stopped talking to him about it,” said Mazzulla, per Jared Weiss of The Athletic. “Because I know what it’s like to be away from your kids and away from your family.”

The six-time All-Star Griffin, who made 41 appearances as a reserve last season for the Celtics, is still only 34 years old. But he spent roughly the last decade-and-a-half in the NBA and had gotten seriously slowed by countless lower-body injuries and surgeries. With Griffin facing the prospects of being more of a team mascot than anything these days, going through the grind of the NBA season was probably no longer worth it for him and his family.

A former No. 1 overall pick, Griffin is clearly still beloved by the Celtics, who are the favorites to win the NBA title this year and would give Griffin a real shot at his first career championship if he were to re-sign with them. But it sounds like Griffin, who made over $255 million in career salary and can fall back on other off-court pursuits, has bigger priorities in life right now.

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