Griffin had 30 points and 12 rebounds in the win, which made the Pistons 7-6.
That was a big victory for Detroit. Casey was fired by the Raptors after last season despite being named NBA Coach of the Year. Getting the win over his former team — on a play he drew up — probably felt great. Griffin certainly thought so.
We’re now four weeks into the new NBA season, and several teams have come out of the gates scorching. The Raptors and Bucks look like the class of the East, the Warriors appear borderline unbeatable, and the young Nuggets have shown they’re ready to contend now.
Those teams’ impressive starts could largely be attributed to the stellar play of their stars. Here are 10 players — including at least one from each of those teams — off to a hot start.
10. Damian Lillard, Trail Blazers
Everyone seemed to be saying the same thing about the Blazers heading into this season: they’re toast. Portland had an impressive 2017-18 regular season, but suffered a brutal first-round postseason exit at the hands of Anthony Davis and the Pelicans. Despite Portland’s regular-season success, Terry Stotts’ job security was in question. Well, Portland has started strong (10-3) yet again, and Damian Lillard is a big reason for that. He’s currently averaging 26.0 points per game on a career-best field-goal percentage (46.5), and free-throw percentage (94.0). He recently hung 30 on LeBron and the Lakers. Lillard looks poised to have a breakthrough campaign thrusting him into MVP contention. He’s on a mission to prove Portland is a genuine contender in the loaded West.
Utah Jazz sharpshooter Joe Ingles had a funny Twitter exchange with Blake Griffin on Wednesday night.
Ingles was impressed by how well his purple jersey had been selling and commented about that on Twitter. Griffin responded with a joke about using the jerseys to keep his fires going for warmth in Michigan. Ingles hit Griffin back with a burn about Griffin’s Clippers career ending.
Judges call this fight in favor of Ingles, the new Twitterweight champion.
Not only is the 30-year-old showing off his Twitter chops, but Ingles also has taken a big step forward in his NBA career. He jumped to 11.5 points, 4.2 rebounds and 4.8 assists per game last season, while making 44 percent of his threes.
Blake Griffin was brave enough to take on comedian Jeff Ross is Comedy Central’s “Roast Battle,” and some footage from the show recently came out. Griffin has actually dabbled in stand-up comedy and held his own for much of the time, but it’s tough to win a battle when you dated a member of the Kardashian-Jenner clan.
As Reddit user sagednovice pointed out, Ross at one point burned Griffin with a hilarious joke about Kendall Jenner.
“Just like the Clippers, Kendall eventually traded you for another basketball player,” Ross said. “The season hasn’t even started yet and your ex is already leading you in rebounds.”
For those who haven’t kept up on the gossip, Griffin was linked to Jenner for a while, but the reality TV star has since begun dating Ben Simmons. Like everything else Ross threw his way, Griffin was a good sport about being called out for dating a Jenner.
Blake Griffin has been ordered to pay $3 million a year in child support to the mother of their two children, according to a report.
Griffin broke up with Brynn Cameron last year, leading to a paternity suit. The matter was settled with the NBA star being ordered to pay $258,000 per month in child support, according to Radar Online. That amounts to over $3 million per year.
For the purposes of the child support calculation, Griffin’s net worth was calculated to be $35 million in March. Griffin is signed to a 5-year, $173 million contract and scheduled to make just under $32 million next season.
Griffin and Cameron have joint legal and physical custody of the children. The two were ordered to mutually agree on school and additional school expenses, with Griffin paying the kids’ extracurricular activities. Griffin claimed in the suit that he is paying for a home in which Cameron and the two children live in Manhattan Beach, Calif.
It certainly sounds like Dwane Casey was drawn to the Detroit Pistons job in part because of what he could do with Blake Griffin.
Speaking on ESPN Radio’s Stephen A. Smith Show, Casey compared Griffin to DeMar DeRozan and said he hopes the forward expands his game and uses a more versatile arsenal going forward.
“We’re going to empower him to expand his game, a lot like DeMar DeRozan in Toronto,” Casey said, via Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN. “Expand his game out to the 3-point line, have some point-forward responsibilities with the basketball out on the floor bringing it down. Because he’s more than just a back-down, post-up player.”
The Pistons are intent on building around Griffin. The previous regime gave up a lot to acquire him, and he’s under contract through 2022, so they have little choice. Luckily, if they can keep him healthy, he is a player who can certainly carry the load.
This year’s NBA Rookie of the Year discussion has been about as animated as it gets, and Blake Griffin knows plenty about the debate surrounding a player being eligible for the award in his second season.
As you have likely heard, Ben Simmons is one of the favorites to win Rookie of the Year. The other top candidate, Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell, has made it known that he feels Simmons should not be eligible since he was drafted in 2016.
Mitchell’s sweatshirt featured the definition of the word rookie, which is “an athlete playing in his or her first season as a member of a professional sports team.” Griffin, who was unanimously voted the NBA Rookie of the Year in 2011, cracked a funny joke about Mitchell’s wardrobe selection.
Look, there are worse reasons to root a guy on. The gingers of the world deserve respect too, and with his 31-point performance in the title game, DiVincenzo has earned plaudits from Griffin and many others.
Just one problem: Griffin is a Detroit Piston now. Given that the Michigan Wolverines were on the wrong end of DiVincenzo’s exploits, that tweet may not go down well at home.
Blake Griffin may be on a different team, but Mike D’Antoni still hasn’t forgotten about the little kerfuffle that they had back in January.
After his Houston Rockets topped Griffin’s Detroit Pistons 100-96 in overtime on Thursday, D’Antoni cracked a joke about their incident earlier in the season when Griffin was still a member of the LA Clippers. Here is what D’Antoni had to say, according to Adam Wexler of KPRC-TV in Houston:
#Rockets HC Mike D'Antoni asked about Blake Griffin tonight, "He didn't run over me. I was happy about that. I think we're making progress." – D'Antoni joked. #Clippers#NowPistons
While the Jan. 15 incident was largely overshadowed by the Rockets invading the Clippers locker room afterwards, Griffin and D’Antoni were caught up in some fairly heated hostilities with one another during their initial meeting.
Here's the play where Blake Griffin went right at D'Antoni on the way up the court, going out of bounds to bump him. D'Antoni complains about it immediately. pic.twitter.com/dwZeRJlxmv