Blake Griffin has plenty of accolades; he’s a six-time NBA All-Star and a consistent selection of the All-NBA team. But there’s one honor that keeps eluding him: an NBA Championship. Joining the explosive Los Angeles Clippers in 2009, Griffin & Co. were often favored to go the distance, but the team couldn’t capitalize.
Injuries, a trade to the Detroit Pistons, and subpar play led Griffin to look for a team where he could earn a championship ring. His arrival as part of a stacked Brooklyn Nets team is a great opportunity for him to finally realize his dream.
Blake Griffin makes the move to the Brooklyn Nets
The Los Angeles Clippers frequently popped up in predictions about NBA title contenders during Griffin’s tenure with the team. Injuries, sloppy play, and just general bad luck left him and his teammates ringless.
After a blockbuster trade that sent him to the Detroit Pistons, fans hoped the former Rookie of the Year had some gas left in the tank to make a difference. It didn’t happen. The Pistons were one of the worst teams in the NBA, and after countless injuries, Griffin’s body didn’t look like it could handle much more.
Enter the Brooklyn Nets. With superstars Kyrie Irving, James Harden, and Kevin Durant already part of the lineup, the Nets were one of the favorites to win it all. Griffin took note, and in March 2021, he moved on to the team. His play improved almost immediately, making Detroit fans scratch their heads and wonder where this Griffin was during his time with their team.
Fitting in with the Nets
Moving to the Nets was a big change for Griffin. No longer was he the main guy, the team building block. Instead, he was coming off the bench and expected to provide a spark. While some players might find it daunting to join a team mid-season, Griffin took it in stride.
He told GQ, “It’s always easy to play with good basketball players. I think that’s sort of what has made the transition easy. Just how good these guys are — and my experience, I think. After playing 11 years and seeing a lot of different situations, like I talked about earlier, you just kinda know how to fit in a little bit better.”
Griffin thinks fitting in with the Nets players was a result of his age and experience. In the same interview, he said he’s more patient, which he credits with successfully meshing with the team. “For me, the patience, that’s the difference between now and when I was first coming into the league.”
How the Brooklyn Nets fared in the 2021 playoffs
The Nets made it to the playoffs — one of the favorites to go all the way — but it didn’t work out. They were knocked out in the Eastern Conference Semifinals by the eventual NBA Champ Milwaukee Bucks. The series featured an array of superstars and had fans on the edge of their seats. It extended to a nail-biting Game 7 with Kevin Durant scoring 48 points for the Nets. Giannis Antetokounmpo led the Bucks with 40 points and 13 rebounds, reports CBS New York.
While the Bucks would eventually win the game in overtime, Griffin helped the team throughout the playoffs. According to ESPN, he played 12 postseason games and averaged nine points and 5.9 rebounds. Initially meant to come off the bench, Griffin started a slew of games at the end of the regular season and even into the playoffs. He helped the Nets get into the postseason — making shots, rebounding, and chasing loose balls when necessary.