If poor LaMarcus Aldridge had to hang up his sneakers due to health concerns, the Blake Griffin experiment in Brooklyn was a resounding success. In fact, the former Clipper has even regained the taste for dunk, lost during his last years in Detroit! So why was the leaping redhead no longer leaping in Michigan? Explanations.
Since Blake Griffin arrived in Brooklyn, he has blended seamlessly into the Steve Nash collective. In 26 regular-season games played for the Nets, the forward has averaged 10 points, 4.7 rebounds and 2.4 assists in just 21 minutes of average. A nice addition, albeit a little more subdued on the series against Boston.
But the stat that gets the most talk beyond these numbers is undoubtedly the one about his dunks. Known all his life as a basketball player for his crazy tomars and posters, Griffin made the buzz by… no longer dunking for the Pistons after 2019.
Last 25 games with the Pistons: 0His first 28 games with the Nets: 19
Become a kind of “running gag” and subject to many fantasies, this statistic has been explained once and for all by Taylor Griffin, big brother and manager of Blake. The reason is simple: the health of the player, who has suffered major knee problems in recent years and 2 operations. Griffin had planned to come back in March, 100%, but when the start of the season was pushed forward 3 months, the whole thing rushed. As a result, he wasn’t all set for the start of competition with Detroit.
Clearly, his rehabilitation must have been a bit rushed. And besides, I think we’ve seen a lot of guys who need some time to get back to their top form. But he had already missed much of the previous season, so there was no way he would miss the start of this season.
His knee might have been 100%, but there’s a difference between being healthy and being healthy to play NBA minutes every night. It’s better now. Blake will be the first to tell you he’s not going to dunk over a car tomorrow, but I think everyone who sees him play sees he’s okay.
And Sam Goldfeder, long-time agent for the former Clipps, concluded on ESPN’s microphone:
We knew he could still dunk. It was no surprise. It was only a matter of time.
That should put an end to the rumors. No, Blake Griffin didn’t “do it on purpose” not to dunk to get out of the Pistons or to show some disinterest. He just wasn’t 100% unlike now on the Brooklyn side.