Brooklyn Nets forward Blake Griffin showed that he can be just as petty as the next person during a recent podcast appearance while shuffling through packs of basketball cards and coming across one of his own. Appearing on the Pardon My Take podcast, Griffin opened a pack of trading cards to one of his own from his stint with the Detroit Pistons:
“That must have been the 2018-19 season when I was an All-Star, All-NBA, I dunked a few times, played in the playoffs injured, but ya... I’d hate me too, Detroit.”
The card pulled by Griffin was indeed from the 2018-19 season, his first in Detroit and arguably the most productive of his career, statistically speaking. Griffin averaged 24.5 ppg (career-high), 7.5 rpg, and shot 52.5% from the field. Blake was indeed an All-Star and All-NBA selection that year and helped lead the Pistons to the playoffs.
But the narrative on Griffin, 32, began to change somewhere along the line in Detroit. Since leaving the team after being bought out of his contract last season and relinquishing over $13 million, Griffin has been accused of mailing it in with the Pistons.
You can’t blame Pistons fans too much for feeling this way, as it seemed like overnight Griffin went from one of the most athletic forwards in the NBA to a guy who spends most of his time on the perimeter lacking the explosiveness he once possessed. Pistons fans may be onto something, as it did look as if Griffin no longer wanted to be in Detroit toward the end of his run. Both sides were equally done by the end, and the buyout was made, allowing Griffin to move on to a championship contender.
The fact that Griffin felt the need to take that jab at Pistons fans shows you just how much these players pay attention to what’s being said about them. As great a player as Blake once was, he’s always been one that is guaranteed to miss time due to injuries. He didn’t play any of his original rookie season (2009-10) because of a knee injury. Griffin has played 82 games just once in his career and 80 plus games three times.
The main gripe fans have with Blake is that he just stopped dunking the ball with the Pistons. Then in Brooklyn with the Nets, he magically regained his dunking abilities, as if he’d never suffered a knee injury in his life. So, while Pistons fans want to believe Griffin just stopped giving a crap, he may have hit that point where his body refused to do what it used to.
No, Griffin isn’t what we’d call a spectacular dunker anymore, but at least Nets fans get to see him go above the rim. Pistons fans feel conned and furthermore felt like Griffin gave up on them down the stretch of his tenure with the team.
Whether Griffin was saving himself knowing a buyout in Detroit was imminent, or his body simply began to betray him with the Pistons, one thing is certain, Blake will forever receive a special kind of salute whenever he’s in the Motor City.