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#pounditMonday, October 3, 2022

Blake Griffin

Blake Griffin does not think he is in decline

Blake Griffin Pistons

Many around the league see Blake Griffin as very much a depreciating asset, but the six-time All-Star himself begs to differ.

Speaking with the media Thursday, the Detroit Pistons big man said that he does not see himself as being in decline and does not anticipate his current contract being his last one, per Omari Sankofa II of the Detroit Free Press. Griffin also said that he feels “great” and recently met with his trainer to discuss escalating his training program.

Griffin, who recently turned 31, was limited to 18 games this season before undergoing another knee surgery. The injuries have piled up on him, causing Griffin to lose significant athleticism. But he is a much more well-rounded player now (at least when healthy) with a greater emphasis on ball-handling and three-point shooting.

The former No. 1 overall pick is owed a hefty $75.6 million over the next two seasons, leading some to believe that he is a likely amnesty candidate. But Griffin still thinks that he has plenty of high-level basketball left to play, so don’t write him off just yet.

Blake Griffin likely to be amnestied if provision is reinstated?

Blake Griffin Pistons

If the NBA does decide to reinstate its amnesty provision, one top-name player could be a likely casualty of it.

On the “Revisionist History” podcast this week, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst said that Detroit Pistons big man Blake Griffin was the most prevalent name being mentioned around league circles in connection with the amnesty clause.

“I already can tell you that instantaneously every person I’ve talked to in the league I’ve heard about amnesty, the first name out of their mouth … Blake Griffin,” said Windhorst.

The six-time All-Star Griffin, now 31 years old, has been increasingly hobbled by injuries in recent years and appeared in just 18 games this season before undergoing yet another knee surgery. He is owed $36.6 million next season and holds a $39 million player option for the 2021-22 season.

Bringing back the amnesty clause, which was last present in the NBA’s 2011 collective bargaining agreement, would allow teams to get rid of one unsavory contract without it counting against the salary cap. While Windhorst does also note that the Pistons are not particularly close to the cap line, especially after trading Andre Drummond’s big deal for expiring contracts, a reinstatement of the amnesty provision is a very real possibility being discussed. That makes Griffin a name to watch as a possible amnesty candidate and, by extension, a possible available commodity on the open market.

Blake Griffin hilariously calls out TMZ for recording him shooting hoops with his kids

Blake Griffin Pistons

All Blake Griffin wanted was a peaceful recreational outing with his children, but instead he became a story on TMZ.

The celebrity gossip outlet posted a video this week of the Detroit Pistons star shooting hoops as his kids played in the background. While TMZ did blur the faces of Griffin’s children, they made a point of clowning the six-time All-Star for bricking many of the shots that he put up.

On Thursday, Griffin tweeted a hilarious response to the story, calling out the “grown man” who hid in the bushes to secretly film him and his kids.

Griffin’s son Ford is six years old and his daughter Finley is three. The former No. 1 overall pick was recently ordered to pay a large sum in child support to ex-girlfriend Brynn Cameron, who is the mother of the two children.

As for TMZ, it looks like Griffin has now added them to the long list of victims that he has dunked on over the years.

Chris Paul says he appreciated Blake Griffin more after CP3 left Clippers

Chris Paul

The Los Angeles Clippers had visions of winning multiple championships when they acquired Chris Paul in 2011 and paired him with Blake Griffin, but they never advanced beyond the second round of the playoffs. Injuries and opponents played a big role in that, but there are plenty of people who feel Paul and Griffin could have done a better job of coexisting. Does CP3 agree?

In a recent appearance on the “All the Smoke” podcast with Stephen Jackson and Matt Barnes, Paul reflected on the six seasons he spent with the Clippers. CP3 admitted that he had his “issues” with Griffin, and the star point guard said he didn’t truly appreciate the situation until “Lob City” came to an end when Paul was traded to the Houston Rockets in 2017.

“It’s seriously one of those things you don’t realize what you have until it’s gone,” Paul said, as transcribed by Ashish Mathur of Clutch Points. “I think about it at times. And me and Blake Griffin absolutely had our issues here and there, but I actually appreciated Blake probably a lot more after I left.”

As players, Paul and Griffin were in many ways the perfect compliment to one another. The team enjoyed plenty of success during the regular season with six straight postseason appearances and a winning percentage of .600 or better each year, but former Clippers players have said the dynamic between Griffin and CP3 complicated things.

The “Lob City” era in LA is another reminder that it takes more than a collection of superstar players to win championships. Both Paul and Griffin would likely do things differently if they could turn the clock back a decade.

Detroit Pistons have finally embarked on a rebuild

Blake Griffin Pistons

The first step to solving any problem is identifying that there is, in fact, a problem. The Detroit Pistons recognized their roster was not set up for long-term success and attempted to remedy the situation in February by trading away their franchise mainstay, Andre Drummond, which signaled the beginning of a rebuild. The initial reaction around the league after the Pistons traded Drummond to the Cleveland Cavaliers for Brandon Knight, John Henson, and a second-round draft was one of bewilderment.

There was no confusion as to why the Pistons would trade Drummond; in his first seven seasons with the Pistons, the team never advanced past the first round of the playoffs. The puzzling part of the trade was that on the open market, the two-time All-Star, and three-time rebounding champion, was worth no more than a single second-round pick and two journeymen veterans on contracts that made the finances of the deal work.

Drummond’s lack of trade value furthers the ideology of the limited impact that a traditional paint-bound center can have in the modern NBA. Post-up, rebounding centers, like Drummond, were once thought of as the necessary ingredient in any championship recipe. 2,495 3-pointers later, Chef Curry has cooked up a new recipe for success. The analytics approach to basketball has led to more spacing and, subsequently, more 3-point shots. The Pistons recognized that they would never become an elite offense with Drummond as their fulcrum.

Trading Drummond not only represented a stylistic overhaul for the Pistons but also conveyed their willingness to escape the self-induced purgatory they have been stuck in for the entirety of the Drummond era. By trading Drummond, the Pistons ensured that he could not pick up his player option this summer, worth approximately $28 million. But the trade was not solely predicated on finances, as it was not long ago when the Pistons believed that they could construct a contending roster around Drummond.

To properly understand why the Pistons were willing to part with Drummond for such an insignificant return, it is paramount to examine the 2018 blockbuster trade in which the Pistons acquired Blake Griffin from the Los Angeles Clippers.

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Blake Griffin out indefinitely after undergoing another knee surgery

Blake Griffin Pistons

Blake Griffin has appeared in just 18 games this season after experiencing discomfort in his surgically-repaired knee, and the Detroit Pistons star will now be out indefinitely after undergoing another procedure.

The Pistons announced on Tuesday that Griffin had arthroscopic surgery in his left knee and will undergo an “extended rehabilitation period.” No timetable has been set for his return.

The Pistons said recently that they were not considering shutting Griffin down for the season, but it would not be a surprise if we have seen the last of him until next year. The six-time All-Star had surgery on the same knee during the offseason and has had issues with it throughout the year.

Griffin is averaging just 15.5 points and 4.7 rebounds per game, which would both be career-worst marks for him. The Pistons are 13-24 this season, and the rumblings about them entering a rebuild will continue to increase now that Griffin could be out for the year.

Report: Blake Griffin may undergo season-ending knee surgery

Blake Griffin Pistons

Blake Griffin’s disappointing 2019-20 season could be coming to a fairly early end.

According to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports, the Detroit Pistons forward is set to visit a specialist this week in Los Angeles and is considering the possibility of undergoing season-ending knee surgery.

Griffin had surgery on his left knee during the offseason, but it has continued to trouble him well into the regular season. He’s played in just 18 games and hasn’t looked like himself during them, averaging 15.5 points and 4.7 rebounds per game. Both of those marks would be career worsts.

The Pistons had said they weren’t considering shutting Griffin down yet, but he may make the decision for them. Considering how shaky he’s looked and how much that knee must be bothering him, it doesn’t seem like a bad decision at all. The fact that the Pistons are 13-24 and making noise about a rebuild likely doesn’t hurt either.

Pistons not yet considering shutting Blake Griffin down for season

Blake Griffin Pistons

The Detroit Pistons are facing some dire straits, but they are not ready to completely punt on the season just yet.

Pistons owner Tom Gores was asked by reporters this week if the team had considered potentially shutting down star player Blake Griffin for the year.

“No, we’re not that far, and we’re just gonna assess it in the next week or so,” said Gores, per Rod Beard of The Detroit News. “He’s a trooper.”

Griffin, who has sat out the last two games with knee soreness to bring his total number of missed games this season to 17, has not looked right all year. The 30-year-old forward is averaging career-lows across the board with 15.5 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 3.3 assists per game on a decrepit 35.2 percent from the field and 24.3 percent from deep.

The Pistons are 11th in the East at 12-23 and still owe Griffin $110 million over the next three years. They are starting to give indications of a possible rebuild, and that will make the six-time All-Star Griffin a prime shutdown candidate for the second half of the season.

Lakers’ Jared Dudley takes shot at former teammate Blake Griffin

Blake Griffin Pistons

Years after the demise of the Lob City Clippers, Jared Dudley apparently still isn’t on speaking terms with one of his fellow alums of that team.

In a wide-ranging interview with The Athletic’s Bill Oram this week, the Los Angeles Lakers forward was asked who his least favorite teammate ever was.

“Least favorite teammate. Wow. I don’t get along with Blake Griffin now,” replied Dudley. “When I was with him I didn’t have a bad relationship with him. That team was the most toxic team. It was weird because it was a bipolar type team. We were somewhat cool off the floor. We weren’t cool on the floor.

“I just don’t like his personality and attitude,” he added about Griffin. “I think he’s a great basketball player and I think you can differentiate the two. It’s easy to be the greatest teammate when you’re winning. How about when you’re losing? How about when you’re down 20? And that’s the biggest thing with that team. It was the biggest front-running team. Up 20, everything is good, throwing lobs. Down 20, people want to fight, bickering. I don’t want to say my least favorite … That’s a teammate right now that I don’t talk [to], don’t get along [with], words aren’t exchanged on the court, yada yada.

The 34-year-old Dudley was teammates with Griffin on the Clippers for just one season in 2013-14. That was the season that the Donald Sterling scandal marred the team’s playoff run and culminated in a second-round exit at the hands of the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Dudley has made clear that he doesn’t care much for those Clippers, but it is still rare to see an NBA player ether an ex-teammate with such honesty.

H/T NBA Reddit

Report: Blake Griffin to make season debut on Monday

Blake Griffin Pistons

Blake Griffin is set to make his season debut for the Detroit Pistons on Monday, according to a report.

Griffin has not played at all this season due to knee and hamstring injuries. He was cleared for all basketball activities and was practicing during the week, suggesting a return was close. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski says the debut will happen in the Pistons’ home game against Minnesota.

Griffin underwent arthroscopic surgery on his left knee in April and has a history of knee injuries. The Pistons have said they will handle the forward carefully this season due to the issues.

Griffin is entering his second full season with the Pistons after being traded to Detroit by the Clippers in early 2018, just after he had re-signed with the LA club. He averaged a career-high 24.5 points per game last season and attempted seven threes per game.