Blake Griffin talks about his time with Clippers, wishes his exit was handled with more ‘respect’
Blake Griffin handled his exit from the LA Clippers as graciously as any athlete could after being promised the world and the stars by his team of affiliation. The Detroit Pistons All-Star acknowledges he understands why the change was necessary for his former team, but wishes they would have handled it with more “respect” instead of keeping the information from him.
Griffin played his heart out for the Clippers, but he knows they were a relative disappointment compared to expectations, which is why they ultimately went in a different direction:
“We ultimately didn’t accomplish anything,” Griffin told Alex Wong of Yahoo Sports. “In sports, that’s how you get measured… If they succeed, they’ll be the ones who really turned the franchise around and actually solidify them as not the same franchise that it was back in the day.”
Griffin doesn’t resent the Clippers for their decision, even if they turned around and traded him six months after raising his virtual jersey to the rafters under the pretense of locking down his services for five more years and committing $173 million to that cause:
“I didn’t want the [free agency] pitch anymore than anybody else did,” Griffin said. “To me it wasn’t about the fake jersey retirement, that’s not when I was like, ‘oh yeah, I’m signing back here.’ It was the best decision at the time for me. At the end of the day, the only thing that I wish happened differently was I wish they had given me the same respect like some teams give to guys when they say, ‘hey, we’re gonna go in a different direction and we want to make this work for everybody.’
“I went in and asked somebody in the front office on the day of. It was tip-toed around. [They said] you’ll be the first call, that didn’t happen. I completely understand if a team wants to go in a different direction. I just wish I had been privy to the information before everybody else was.”
Keeping this information from Griffin might have been in poor taste, but so is the way a few free agents handle their decisions, leaving a front office out to dry while they machinate their next stop. It goes both ways.