Two years after his trade to the Detroit Pistons, Blake Griffin may still be known to many as the face of the L.A. Clippers. Shortly after a “mock” jersey retirement ceremony to woo him back to the team and declaring the 6-foot-10 forward as a “Clipper for Life”, Griffin was booted into the Eastern Conference in 2018.
That doesn’t seem to bother Griffin though, as the NBA star was still included in Forbes 30 under 30 in the same year. Unlike most NBA players, Griffin has less tattoos on his body. In fact, he even started his basketball tenure in 2009 with no inks at all.
“A landscape” on his left side of torso
In the summer of 2016, a beach photo of the then-Clippers star was posted in many social media sites. The photo showed Griffin’s first tattoo done by Dr. Woo. The tattoo seems to depict peacefulness amidst the bustling city life as it shows a silhouette of two children sitting on a tree branch overlooking the city. One thing’s for sure, Blake Griffin definitely had an eye for simple yet delicate tattoo designs.
“Stay” on right wrist
The rest of Griffin’s tattoos are simpler. But despite their low-profile visuals, they have a deep backstory that inspires Blake Griffin everyday. In a 2017 feature on Sports Illustrated, the NBA veteran’s wrist tattoo evoked the Griffin family creed: Stay focused. Stay hungry. Stay humble.
Perhaps this is what the long-time Clippers leader also channeled as he led the Clippers for the most part of his NBA tenure. They were the underdogs, but seeing as they slowly improved with the help of Griffin’s leadership, this mantra can certainly be found in one of the Clipper’s books.
On a more personal level, this inspiring reminder is very much applicable to Blake Griffin as he slowly found his way back up within the Detroit Pistons despite his injury-laden seasons. While he took a step back on leadership, the power forward eventually averaging 24.5 points, 5.4 assists, and 7.5 rebounds last season.
“Just keep smiling” on the right side of torso
In the same Sports Illustrated feature, the Detroit veteran shared the story from his other tattoo. This one he said, was a quote from his high school teammate Wilson Holloway. Back in college, Blake Griffin sent a computer to Holloway, when the latter needed it most.
Soon after, Holloway thanked him with a letter and quote which Blake Griffin immortalized on his torso: “Just keep smiling.” A couple weeks later, however, Holloway tragically died of Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
Blake Griffin has a "just keep smiling" tattoo lol pic.twitter.com/qNgavX9c4g
— Justin Russo (@FlyByKnite) September 28, 2017
Aside from his basketball career, Griffin is also a well-known stand-up comedian who slowly but surely trained himself in the art perhaps as a long-term plan for his career.
Griffin was selected first overall by the Los Angeles Clippers in the 2009 NBA draft, and has since been a six-time NBA All-Star and a five-time All-NBA selection. Griffin was a star who took a chance and chose to stay in a struggling franchise as their long-time basketball darling.
Even when they had turned their back on him, he kept pushing himself to be stronger and even made many people smile and laugh in the process. He’ll be missing the rest of the NBA season as he is slated for surgery on the left knee. But with that brand of resilience and mental-strength, who knows what’s in store for him in Detroit?