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#pounditWednesday, October 5, 2022

Blake Griffin

Blake Griffin explains what led to downfall of Lob City Clippers

Blake Griffin

The “Lob City” LA Clippers were one of the great NBA teams of the 21st century to never win a championship. Now one of the stars of that team is explaining what he thinks went wrong for them.

Brooklyn Nets big man Blake Griffin appeared this week on JJ Redick’s “Old Man and the Three” podcast. Griffin and Redick were teammates on the Clippers for four seasons from 2013 to 2017.

During the episode, Griffin said that he thought it was a lack of mental toughness, rather than bad chemistry, that led to the team’s downfall.

“I am in the camp where [I think] it wasn’t quite as bad as people tried to make it out to be,” said Griffin of the Clippers’ chemistry. “I really don’t think it was. Maybe towards the end, maybe like when some other things happened. But that’s not the reason we didn’t win a championship.

“I think it was when we were at Oklahoma City for Game 5 [in the 2014 playoffs] and we were up and we just tricked off that lead,” Griffin added. “Our mental toughness needed to be better after that. Like to me, it wasn’t pettiness like I keep saying. But it was just like, we were so deflated by that game that we couldn’t pick ourselves back up to come home and win and then force a Game 7.”

Griffin and Redick also agreed that 2014 and 2015 were their best shots to win a title, before the total ascendance of the Golden State Warriors and the LeBron James-led Cleveland Cavaliers. In both years, the Clippers collapsed bewilderingly in Round 2 of the playoffs. In 2014, they blew a crucial Game 5 on the road to the Thunder that would have put them up 3-2 in the series, as Griffin hinted at. Then in 2015, they went up 3-1 on the Houston Rockets, only to squander that lead and lose the series in seven games.

In the years since the breakup of the band, much has been made of what ultimately doomed the Lob City era. Some members of the team believe that it was immaturity. Others suggest that it was a lack of leadership. But Griffin thinks that it was simply a lack of poise that did in the Clippers in the end.

Video: Blake Griffin had disrespectful act for Thanasis Antetokounmpo

Blake Griffin Thanasis Antetokounmpo

Blake Griffin had a big game for the Brooklyn Nets in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals on Saturday, and he got a little disrespectful too.

Griffin had 18 points and 14 rebounds in Brooklyn’s 115-107 win over the Milwaukee Bucks. Late in the game, he smacked Thanasis Antetokounmpo with a hard foul. Antetokounmpo was sent to the floor, and then Griffin disrespected him with a stepover.

That’s just like the move Allen Iverson had on Tyronn Lue.

Lue has taken a good attitude about the infamous moment, but we doubt Antetokounmpo will be so accepting of it. Jeff Teague already took issue with it after it happened.

Blake Griffin’s manager hints at why he was not dunking with Pistons

Blake Griffin

Blake Griffin is starting to play above the rim again in stark contrast to the latter part of his tenure with the Detroit Pistons. Now his manager is explaining what has been the difference.

Taylor Griffin, the older brother and manager of the six-time All-Star, said this week that the quick turnaround with the start of the 2020-21 NBA season hindered Blake as he worked his way back from knee surgery.

“It was definitely a hurried-up schedule,” said Taylor, per ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne. “And I think we saw that a lot of guys just needed a little bit more time to get all the way back to game shape.

“He had already sat out so much of the previous year, there was no chance he’d sit out [the start of this season],” added Taylor of Blake. “His knee was 100 percent healthy, but there’s a difference in your body being healthy and being ready to play NBA level minutes every night.”

Blake went over a year without dunking to close out his time in Detroit. But as soon as he received a buyout and signed with Brooklyn, he immediately dunked in his first game as a Net. Blake has also turned back the clock with some big jams during the Nets’ first-round playoff series against Boston.

That will obviously come as no solace though to the Pistons, who recently threw shade at their former star for the supposed finesse job. But it turns out it may have just been the natural progression of Blake’s return from injury all along.

Blake Griffin fires back at critics of Nets

Blake Griffin

With so many flavors out there, Blake Griffin finds it funny that people are being salty.

The new Nets big man pushed back this week at the negative reaction to him and LaMarcus Aldridge both signing with Brooklyn after receiving contract buyouts from their previous teams.

“It’s kind of funny to me, because for the last couple years all I’ve heard is how bad I am,” Griffin said, per Brian Lewis of the New York Post. “You sign with this team and everybody’s like, “That’s not fair!” People say whatever they want. I don’t put a whole lot of value in other people’s opinions.

“I trust the people I trust. If I don’t go to you for advice, then I’m probably not going to take your criticism,” he added. “So I have that circle of people. I have that group of people that I trust, real basketball people. That’s who I listen to. I just think it’s funny, I guess you could say that it’s amusing. I can’t speak for LaMarcus, I don’t know what people have been saying about him. That’s how I felt when I came here. I was hearing how bad I was, and now people care for some reason.”

The Nets’ latest signings to complement their superstar-studded core of Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant, and James Harden generated major backlash. Cries of “the rich get richer” abounded, and many pointed to the moves as a prime example of the inequities that small-market teams face at the hands of juggernauts based in New York and Los Angeles.

It is true that Griffin and Aldridge are both having career-worst seasons or close to it. Both had also largely been written off before they signed with the Nets. But even if they are no longer the All-Stars that they once were, they will still be very valuable role players that Brooklyn essentially got for free. That is where the root of the criticism lies, not in the belief that Griffin and Aldridge will somehow return to being 20-and-10 players for the Nets.

Regardless, Griffin seems to be basking in all of the hatred. After all, he did do this in his first game with the Nets.

Look: Here is Blake Griffin’s first dunk in a year and a half

Blake Griffin

When Blake Griffin joined the Brooklyn Nets, he had not thrown down a slam dunk in an NBA game since December 2019. That drought is finally over.

Griffin, once known for his emphatic dunks, finally got one in game action Sunday to open the fourth quarter against the Washington Wizards. Making his Nets debut, Griffin drove the lane and threw one down, and both he and his new teammates had great reactions.

Griffin got his money’s worth there, and it’s hard to blame him. The dunk drought had become a consistent talking point lately, most of it in the form of jokes at his expense. It was probably something he wanted to put to rest as quickly as he could.

The dunk represented the only two points Griffin scored in 15 minutes of action Sunday. He added two rebounds and a block off the bench.

Blake Griffin likely to make Nets debut Sunday

Blake Griffin

The Brooklyn Nets are finally going to get one big-name player off the injury list for Sunday’s game.

The Nets’ latest injury report lists Blake Griffin as probable for Sunday against the Washington Wizards, suggesting that the forward is likely to finally make his debut with the team.

Griffin is likely to come off the bench, and it is probably it will be that way when the team is fully healthy. He was averaging only 12.3 points and 5.2 rebounds per game with Detroit, as the 32-year-old simply isn’t as athletic as he used to be.

Now the Nets just need the guy who recruited Griffin back on the floor.

Ex-Clippers announcer Ralph Lawler cracks savage Blake Griffin joke

Blake Griffin

Blake Griffin is now officially a Brooklyn Net, but Ralph Lawler knows they will definitely not be getting the same player he knew from the LA Clippers.

The retired former Clippers announcer tweeted on Friday that it was nice to see Griffin and ex-Clippers teammate DeAndre Jordan reunited in Brooklyn.

When a commenter responded that he was hoping for Griffin to be able to recover some of his athleticism in Brooklyn, Lawler savagely responded that he was similarly hoping to be able to grow a full head of hair.

The 82-year-old Lawler then made sure to clarify that he was not dissing the six-time All-Star Griffin.

Lawler retired in 2019 after a 41-year tenure as the voice of the Clippers. Thus, he assuredly has a lot of love for Griffin, who helped transform the team from a punchline into one of the most exciting and feared teams in the entire NBA. That said, it does not take a rocket scientist to tell you that Griffin, who has not had a single dunk all season, is now a shell of himself thanks to countless lower body injuries over the years.

But while Lawler’s joke about Griffin came from a friendly place, the same might not be true about Griffin’s relationship with others from the Clippers.

Blake Griffin shares who recruited him most to join Nets

Blake Griffin

Blake Griffin is now a member of the Brooklyn Nets and set to make his debut for the team on Thursday. Griffin agreed to a contract buyout with the Pistons in order to become a free agent and gave back $13 million. He wanted to join a contender.

But who is most responsible for recruiting him to the Nets? Griffin says that it was Kevin Durant who worked hardest to get him there.

Griffin chose well when he picked the Nets. Brooklyn is second in the East at 24-13 and has really rolled since acquiring James Harden (they’re 17-7 since he joined the team). Harden also received recognition recently for his role on the squad.

Between the additions of Griffin and Harden, the Nets are looking like a serious title contender.

Here is how the Blake Griffin contract buyout works

Blake Griffin

Blake Griffin has cleared waivers after reaching a buyout with the Detroit Pistons. He reportedly is now expected to sign with the Brookly Nets.

Many are wondering how things are working regarding Griffin’s contract now that he’s been bought out. So we will explain that.

Griffin signed a 5-year, $171 million contract with the Clippers in 2017. The team went all-out to re-sign him, only to trade him to Detroit later that season.

Griffin’s career in Detroit did not work out as he was bothered by knee injuries and no longer is the dominant player he used to be.

This season, Detroit is out of the playoff race. Griffin has not played well but is still making $36.8 million. The Pistons aren’t noticeably better off with him, so they decided to waive him after he agreed to a discount.

Griffin gave back $13.3 million to Detroit as part of the buyout agreement.

So instead of paying Griffin the full $36.8 million he was owed this season, they won’t have to pay him around $4.3 million based on the amount he is giving back (via Spotrac). For next season, instead of owing him $38.9 million, the Pistons won’t have to pay Griffin around $8.7 million. This helps them with their salary cap situation.

Griffin will end up making the minimum from the team with whom he signs for the rest of the season.

Detroit was on the hook for $75.7 million owed to Griffin this season and next, no matter what. At least this way, they get a slight amount of savings to eat his contract and let him go sign elsewhere.

Blake Griffin expected to sign with Nets

Blake Griffin

Blake Griffin appears to have made up his mind on his next destination after being bought out by the Detroit Pistons.

According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, Griffin has cleared waivers, which is expected to set up a move to the Brooklyn Nets. Interested teams have been left with the impression that Griffin has decided to pursue an NBA title in Brooklyn, where he can join up with Kyrie Irving, James Harden, and Kevin Durant.

This comes as little surprise, as the Nets were listed as Griffin’s most likely destination as soon as his buyout was settled.

Griffin is not going to be the contributor he once was, and likely fits exclusively as a rotation piece for Brooklyn. His health has been an issue for several years, limiting him to only 38 regular season games since the start of the 2019-20 season. Still, he’ll provide size and skill in a smaller role, which could be mutually beneficial to both Griffin and the Nets.