Blake Griffin agreed to a buyout agreement with the Detroit Pistons and signed with the Brooklyn Nets to compete for an NBA championship. The Pistons are one of the worst teams in the league, so it made no sense for Griffin to remain in Detroit.
While Pistons fans understand why Blake Griffin wanted to leave Detroit, they may be upset with their former star player after hearing what he had to say to an ESPN reporter.
Blake Griffin explains why he signed with the Nets
As an unrestricted free agent, Blake Griffin could have signed with any contender of his choice. He chose the Nets since Brooklyn superstar Kevin Durant recruited him.
“As far as players go, I talked to KD the most,” Griffin said, via Nets.com. “But I’ve known James, KD, Kyrie, obviously DeAndre for a long time so this was a familiar team for me. As far as my conversations with coach (Steve) Nash, it’s just like I talked about, coming in to fill those gaps, be a short roller, be ready to facilitate, to set screens, to roll, to pop, to do whatever, so that’s my focus is to really dive in these first several games and really see where I’m needed to fill those spots and help us achieve our goal.”
Griffin is no longer the high-flying player he was with the LA Clippers. However, he will be a solid playmaker for Brooklyn off the bench. Griffin has career averages of 4.4 assists per game.
The last time Griffin was healthy was during the 2018-19 NBA season. He averaged 24.5 points, 7.5 rebounds, and 5.4 assists for the Pistons and made the All-Star team.
Griffin has undergone two surgeries on his left knee since that banner season, and he’s struggled on the court. He averaged 15.5 points and 4.7 rebounds in the 18 games he played in 2019-20 and 12.3 points and 5.2 rebounds in his 20 games for Detroit this season.
The Nets know they aren’t getting vintage Blake Griffin. Since they have Kevin Durant, James Harden, and Kyrie Irving, Brooklyn doesn’t need Griffin to be a superstar, but the fans are hoping they will see some throwback dunks from the former No. 1 overall pick, who hasn’t dunked in a game this season.
Blake Griffin plans to dunk with the Nets
Malika Andrews of ESPN asked Blake Griffin if he plans on dunking with the Nets after not throwing down any dunks with the Pistons this season. The six-time All-Star said, “That’s the plan.”
“I know a lot has been made about that, but I promise you I still can. I promise that,” Griffin told Andrews.
Griffin’s comment may not sit well with Pistons fans since he didn’t dunk the ball at all for them this season. Some conspiracy theorists believe Griffin didn’t try on purpose with the Pistons so he could get a buyout and sign with a contender.
Blake Griffin finished his brief Pistons career with averages of 20.7 points, 6.7 rebounds, and 5.0 assists. While Detroit supporters will always appreciate Griffin’s magical 2018-19 season, he’s now an enemy once again.
Brooklyn could easily win the title this season
After adding Blake Griffin, the Nets could easily win the championship this season. Brooklyn’s starting lineup of James Harden, Kyrie Irving, Joe Harris, Kevin Durant, and DeAndre Jordan is one of the best in the league, and now they will have a former All-NBA player in Griffin leading the bench unit.
Griffin likely won’t turn back the clock in Brooklyn since he’s undergone several surgeries. However, the former Rookie of the Year makes the Nets the odds-on favorite to win the championship.
Stats courtesy of Basketball Reference.