From the moment the universe was gifted with my birth at approximately 4 p.m. on October 16th, 1981 until right around 6:30 p.m. on January 29th, 2018, I might’ve uttered or typed the words “Blake” and “Griffin” a couple dozen times. Nothing personal against the big fella, but the only time Detroit would have to worry about the Los Angeles Clippers would be in The NBA Finals so the joke just wrote itself.
I didn’t know much about him.
The basics were covered. I knew he was good at the dunking thing and, apparently, he’s supposed to be funny or something. But, let’s get real, he’s a product of the Hollywood hype machine, and, out there, they all think they can dunk, they all think they’re funny, and they probably all have a screenplay they’d like to sell you.
As fate would have it, everything changed for Blake and I on that miserably-cold Monday evening in late-January of 2018. Our distant lives would soon intertwine in such a way I had forgotten existed in the world of sports and entertainment.
It shocked us all, especially Griffin himself:
At the time, my thoughts were:
“Oh, great, the funny guy with all the jokes is here to save the day,” and it was said with an enormous inner eye-roll.
15 months later:
detroit, not how we wanted it to end but i wanted to say thank you for the support all season long. this year was just the beginning for us. we will continue to lay the foundation to… https://t.co/IZrQbuWslc— Blake Griffin (@blakegriffin23) April 23, 2019
It’s not until you get to observe someone on a daily basis, without the YouTube or Instagram filter making an appearance, that you can truly decipher how competent someone is at their craft.
I have no idea what Blake Griffin was really like in Los Angeles, I mean, you hear some good and you hear some bad. All I can do is speak to how he’s been since he’s joined our Detroit Pistons family.
I’ve formed new thoughts on Griffin that I’d like to share them.
**I’ll wait until I have your undivided attention**
Blake Griffin hasn’t really been that funny.
Anyone else a bit disappointed, or is it just me? Is he a low-volume / high-efficiency comedian? Like, when does the funny start? We’ve got three more years of this business-like approach at what price?
Typical Hollywood, all show and no go.
I’ve said the words “Blake” and “Griffin” a gazillion times since his arrival and I hope to say many gazillion more. However, not much more is needed today, I think you know how lists work.
Below are the top-ten Blake Griffin plays (moments) from the 2018-19 season.
10. Five 3-pointers in the final five minutes in Houston to claw the Pistons back into the game
Ultimately, the Pistons fell short 126 - 124 to the Rockets. Blake Griffin finished with a 37-11-4 stat line including six-for-nine beyond the longline.
9. He got his legs loose earlier that night
It kind of looks fake.
8. Crosscourt bounce passes
Griffin averaged 5.4 assists per game during 2018-19, but it probably should’ve been closer to six or seven dimes a game had his teammates hit a few shots. Per Cleaning the Glass, his 26.7 assist-percentage was in the 99th-percentile of bigs.
7. Late-game heroics
Griffin’s late longball at home against the Rockets helped the Pistons come out on top in overtime 116 - 111:
Can he still get to the hoop?
Weakside rotation a bit late on those.
5. Hold the Greek
Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks made quick work of the Detroit Pistons in the playoffs, but Griffin got the best of Freak on this transition play:
19-10-11 triple-double for Griffin.
4. Dwane Casey’s return to Toronto
The Pistons stole a victory on the final play in Toronto during Casey’s first trip back to Toronto. Griffin finished with 30-12-3 and a pair of timely blocks:
3. The return to Los Angeles
Whether snubbing Country Day was intentional or not doesn’t matter because it was intentional in my heart:
Pistons win 109 - 104, Griffin with 44-8-5
Griffin’s 50 points, 14 rebounds and six assists was too much for the Philadelphia 76ers as the Pistons earned an overtime win 133 - 132 early in the season.
1. Standing tall
A countless way tie for first place for each time Griffin picked himself up off the ground:
The getting knocked down part sucks, but there is something about the getting-up part that drives the Motor City crazy.
Blake Griffin belongs in Detroit.