Blake Griffin needs to apologize to Steve Ballmer to return to Clippers, per Stephen A. Smith
The Detroit Pistons have made it known that they don’t plan on playing Blake Griffin until they resolve his future with the organization. While the Los Angeles Clippers have been labeled as a team that could pursue him, ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith claims that Griffin will need to apologize to Steve Ballmer for a reunion to happen.
"I think he could go back to the Clippers and help. But guess what? In order to do that, you know what he needs to do? Apologize to owner Steve Ballmer… I don't want to see him on the Lakers. I don't think that's the right fit."
– Stephen A. Smith on Blake Griffin's future. pic.twitter.com/5LB8RO46ZE
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) February 16, 2021
Griffin spent the first seven and a half seasons of his career with the Clippers after being taken with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2009 NBA Draft. The high-flying forward then became part of some special teams in Los Angeles, with him forming a dynamic trio alongside Chris Paul and DeAndre Jordan.
However, his time with the Clippers began to go sour after he inked a five-year, $171.1 million extension ahead of the 2017-2018 season. During the free agency process, the Clippers would hang Griffin’s jersey in the rafters in Staples Center in a fake retirement ceremony, showing their interest in keeping him with the franchise for his entire career.
But after the Clippers convinced him to sign a lucrative contract, they suddenly traded Griffin to the Pistons during the 2017-18 campaign. Ever since that moment, there has been a rift—and understandably so—between Griffin and Ballmer.
As Stephen A. Smith pointed out, Steve Ballmer attempted to shake Blake Griffin’s hand in the forward’s first game against the Clippers. However, he avoided Ballmer and proceeded to run to the locker room instead, leaving Ballmer hanging.
Despite Smith’s interesting claim, there’s no reason for Griffin to apologize to Ballmer for being blindsided by a trade to Detroit. If anything, Ballmer should have to apologize to Griffin for what he did if the Clippers do decide to pursue Griffin.