Blake Griffin had a solid revenge game against his former team on Saturday. In his first game back to Los Angeles since getting traded to Detroit, he put up 44 points, eight rebounds, five assists and three steals in the 109-104 victory. It even looked like he got a chance to stick it to Clippers owner Steve Ballmer when Griffin appeared to snub his attempt at a handshake during pregame warm-ups.
It would have been a great story for Griffin to start the afternoon by snubbing the man who said he’d be a “Clipper for life” before putting on a pretend ceremony that involved raising Griffin’s jersey to the rafters—all a few months before trading him to Detroit. But it didn’t work out that way. Instead, an obviously annoyed Griffin cleared the air after the game to point out that he didn’t actually ignore Ballmer, it was just all part of a routine that he would not interrupt for anyone.
As soon as I’m done doing my pregame shooting, I make sure there’s a path and I take off running to the locker room and I don’t stop running. A lot of you know that, a lot of you have been here for a long time. A lot of you have seen me do that before. I don’t change that for anybody. You know, to tweet out something like that—like what you did—I thought was kind of bullshit, because you know that. But, that’s just what it was plain and simple. It wasn’t anything planned. Every single game I’ve done this for I don’t know how long.
It’s fair for Griffin to be slightly annoyed at someone twisting his actions so that they fit a narrative of a player that still harbors resentment towards his old organization. At the same time, it’s fair to believe he’d have hard feelings towards someone who represents a team that shipped him from Los Angeles to Detroit. How else are people supposed to interpret him clearly looking at someone trying to shake his hand and then turning away before running off? Griffin didn’t do much to help his case in this exchange following his first statement.
Reporter: Would you shake [Ballmer’s] hand if it wasn’t prior to your warm up?
Griffin: I’m honestly not here to answer hypothetical questions, to be honest.
Maybe this is all just part of a postgame routine we should all know about by now.