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#pounditThursday, September 16, 2021

Blake Griffin

Blake Griffin paid respects to late Norm Macdonald with press conference video

Blake Griffin

The internet on Tuesday filled with memories and favorite clips of Norm Macdonald, the beloved comedian who died at the age of 61 following a battle with cancer.

Six-time NBA All-Star Blake Griffin was among those to show respect to Macdonald. He shared a video clip of a question Macdonald once asked him at a press conference. Griffin, who was with the LA Clippers at the time, called it his “favorite press conference moment ever.”

In case you can’t watch or hear the clip, Macdonald cracked a great joke with Griffin.

He noted how nobody had ever repeated as “Rookie of the Year,” leading Macdonald to call the honor a “curse.” Griffin recognized the humor immediately and joked that he would “try as hard as he can next year.”

Griffin did win NBA Rookie of the Year in the 2010-2011 season. Sadly, he failed to repeat the following year and did not break the curse.

Thanks for making us laugh, Norm, then, and now.

Blake Griffin explains why jokes about not dunking bothered him

Blake Griffin

During the first part of the 2020-21 NBA season, it was popular to take cracks at Blake Griffin. More specifically, it was pretty much open season on Griffin’s lack of in-game dunking.

Griffin, once revered as one of the best athletes in the league and one of its most accomplished dunkers, went a year and a half between in-game dunks. Between Dec. 2019 and March 2021, Griffin didn’t throw one down, and plenty of people were eager to point that out.

Griffin admitted that the narrative bothered him, in part because he didn’t have the chance to dunk while he wasn’t even playing.

“It bothered me a little bit. Because the stat was, ‘He hasn’t dunked in 400-something days.’ Sure,” Griffin said on JJ Redick’s “The Old Man & the Three” podcast. “I had surgery in January. I played my last game for the Pistons before the pandemic hit December 28, 2019. And then we didn’t go to the bubble. So I didn’t play again until December 24, 2020. Everybody’s like, ‘He hasn’t dunked in over a year.’ I’m like, ‘I haven’t played in over a year.’ Yeah, I played those 19 games with the Pistons and didn’t dunk.

“But that just pissed me off because you guys know the stat, you’re just choosing to be like, ‘Let’s do days instead of games.’ Because games is still like, ‘Oh, he hasn’t dunked in 19 games.’ ‘Or… Hear me out… We can just do just straight days!'”

Griffin’s manager had a somewhat similar explanation to why he wasn’t dunking with Detroit. Once Griffin got to Brooklyn, he proved pretty quickly that he may not be in his prime anymore, but he can still throw it down when he gets the chance. The jokes started to fade pretty quickly after that.