Detroit Pistons forward Blake Griffin has been plagued by injuries throughout his entire NBA career. From missing his first year in the league after being selected with the top overall pick in 2009 to his latest postseason encounters, which have been cut short due to untimely injuries.
A series of maladies marred his latest playoff hopes, as a torn quadriceps cost him a playoff series and a toe injury cost him another appearance, an injury that had set the alarm in his head and had him nearing a meltdown at the end of the 2016-17 season.
“I remember just thinking that I had been doing everything I possibly could: diet, foam roll every night on your own, work with your own trainers, work with the team’s trainers, sleep in a hyperbaric chamber. I have an ice tub in my house. I have everything down to a science,” Griffin told Dan Woike of The Los Angeles Times. “And… this stuff still happens.”
The timing of his injuries surely made him seem like an injury-prone star, one that shared a similar fate as his former floor general Chris Paul, who also has had untimely absences in the playoffs.
“The real test for me was not getting discouraged through that,” said Griffin. “I could easily have been, ‘[Expletive] it. I’m just going to stop caring as much, stop doing all those things that I do.’ But that’s not me as a person. So I just stuck to my routine that summer. And this summer. I put the time in and feel great.”
Griffin was rewarded with a five-year, $173 million deal by the L.A. Clippers and then traded to the Pistons months after. Yet his hefty contract is a reflection of his desire to remain relevant in the league, despite an avalanche of unfortunate events that have kept him from his true form as an NBA player.