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#pounditMonday, August 10, 2020

Articles tagged: Blake Griffin

New Pistons GM expresses commitment to Blake Griffin

Blake Griffin Pistons

Some see former All-Star big man Blake Griffin as dead weight on the Detroit Pistons, but their new general manager certainly begs to differ.

At his introductory press conference Monday, Pistons GM hire Troy Weaver expressed the team’s continued commitment to the 31-year-old Griffin.

“As long as Blake is in a Pistons uniform, I look forward to working with him,” said Weaver, per James Edwards III of The Athletic. “He’s in our plans moving forward.”

Griffin is still under contract for $75.6 million over the next two seasons. But seemingly endless knee surgeries have limited his effectiveness and overall availability for the Pistons, who appear to be stuck in constant mediocrity.

Weaver, the former vice president of basketball operations for the Oklahoma City Thunder, will have the challenging task of righting the ship for Detroit. It does look like Griffin, who recently signaled confidence about his ability to return to a high level of play, will be staying along for the ride though.

Blake Griffin was a huge fan of ‘The Last Dance’ Michael Jordan series

Blake Griffin Pistons

Blake Griffin was every bit as much of a fan of “The Last Dance” documentary series as so many of us.

During April and May, ESPN aired two episodes of a 10-part series on the 1990s Chicago Bulls and Michael Jordan. The episodes would air on Sunday nights and delivered big ratings, due in part to the nature of the subject and also the lack of other sports programming.

Griffin says he was hooked on it.

“I watched every episode a couple times. First of all it saved me, because it gave me something to look forward to every Sunday. And as a basketball fan, as a Jordan fan, that was like basketball porn. It was unbelievable to see all the behind-the-scenes footage,” said Griffin.

During a time when people where locked down in their homes, having some programming to look forward to like “The Last Dance” made a big difference. The only problem for Griffin is that his cool Michael Jordan story is now too widespread.

Griffin, 31, is recovering from arthroscopic surgery on his knee. He recently said he does not think he is in a decline.

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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