The Brooklyn Nets officially signed Blake Griffin on Monday. The former LA Clippers superstar, who reached a buyout agreement with the Detroit Pistons, will earn $1.2 million for the remainder of the 2020-21 season with Brooklyn.
The Nets aren’t getting prime Blake Griffin, as the former No. 1 overall pick is on his last legs in the NBA. Weirdly, Brooklyn is fortunate not to be getting the old Griffin.
Blake Griffin was must-see TV on the Clippers
The Clippers drafted Blake Griffin with the first overall pick in the 2009 draft. However, the high-flyer missed his entire rookie season due to a knee injury.
Once Griffin made his NBA debut in 2010-11, he was must-see TV. The Oklahoma native won the 2010-11 Rookie of the Year Award and finished the season with averages of 22.5 points, 12.1 rebounds, and 3.8 assists. Griffin not only put up stellar numbers, but he also dunked on literally every big man in the league.
In 504 games with the Clippers, Griffin established himself as one of the best players in franchise history. He averaged 21.6 points, 9.3 rebounds, and 4.2 assists and made five All-Star teams. Griffin is second in Clippers history in points scored with 10,863.
During the summer of 2017, the Clippers signed Griffin to a five-year, $171.2 million contract. The power forward thought he would spend his entire NBA career in LA, but the Clippers shocked the basketball world in January of 2018 by trading Griffin to the Pistons.
Griffin had one good season on the Pistons in 2018-19. He averaged 24.5 points, 7.5 rebounds, and 5.4 assists and led Detroit to the playoffs.
Unfortunately, Griffin underwent left knee surgery in the summer of 2019 and another procedure on the same leg during the 2019-20 season. He hasn’t been the same player since.
While the Nets wish they could turn back time and get prime Blake Griffin next to Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and James Harden, it may be a good thing that Brooklyn is getting an older Griffin.
Blake Griffin once broke his hand after punching a Clippers equipment manager
During the 2015-16 season, Blake Griffin showed how immature he was by punching the Clippers’ equipment manager in the face. Blake fractured his right hand in a fight with Matias Testi in Toronto.
Griffin and Testi were teasing each other at dinner before things became heated. The Clippers fined and suspended Griffin for his actions, and the NBA star apologized by writing a letter on Twitter.
In October of 2014, Griffin was accused of slapping a man and taking his cellphone at a Las Vegas Strip nightclub. It’s worth mentioning, though, that the misdemeanor charge was later dropped.
Griffin turns 32 on March 16. He will be coming off the bench for the Nets and won’t have to carry the load on offense anymore. The five-time All-NBA performer is wiser off the court now despite no longer being a superstar basketball player.
While the Nets are hopeful that Blake Griffin can produce well for them, the franchise is glad they aren’t getting the youthful guy who broke his hand after punching an equipment manager.
The Nets should easily win the Eastern Conference
The Nets racked up the second-best record in the Eastern Conference before the NBA All-Star break. They have the top offense in the league with Kevin Durant, James Harden, and Kyrie Irving leading the way.
Blake Griffin has started every game he’s played in the NBA, but multiple reports have stated that the Nets plan to bring him off the bench. Brooklyn should easily win the East now with Griffin in the fold as the main cog of the second unit.
Stats courtesy of Basketball Reference.