Blog Entry

Griffin and Clippers still want each other

Posted on: June 6, 2009 8:22 pm
LOS ANGELES -- After spending a day with the Clippers, Blake Griffin still wanted to be one. Speaking of an organization for which so much has gone wrong, that's progress.

But in Clipperland, nothing ever goes quite as planned. When the team opened its gym in a palatial new practice facility for a public workout with their future No. 1 pick, fans, sponsors, and media were treated to a sound they've heard plenty before.


Griffin, the consensus college player of the year, showed off his speed, agility, and frightening athleticism in an hour-long workout for the team that already has proclaimed it will select him with the No. 1 pick in this month's draft. He also displayed a shaky mid-range jumper, balky stroke from the free-throw line, and maybe a little bit of nerves. Once he got past the initial jitters, Griffin said it was an environment he could handle.

"I'm not used to guys bringing me towels in between drills," Griffin said. "That was kind of nice."

Mike Dunleavy, the Clippers' coach and GM who's decided to stake his reputation on Griffin, raved about his character, athleticism, and ball-handling. Griffin's jumper? Eh.

"There's some things with his shot that he has to work on, and he will," Dunleavy said. "But he shoots the ball well enough from mid-range that you have to guard him."

On film and in live games, that may have been true. But in this workout, Griffin -- by his own admission -- shot the ball poorly with nobody guarding him. Dunleavy isn't concerned, because he picked something up right away that a jump-shooting amateur like myself easily missed: If Griffin bobbles the ball on the catch, his first reaction is to lean his head back when he goes up with the shot. The result was what the 100 or so observers witnessed for most of the workout -- short, flat jump shots. That, presumably, can be fixed.

What Griffin alone won't fix is the combustible chemistry that exists on the team he will join in less than a month. He met Baron Davis during his visit -- "Let's get this thing rolling," Baron told him -- but seemed somewhat oblivious to the potential drama that awaits him.

"That is in the past," Griffin said. "I'm not going to worry about what happened 10 year ago, five years ago. As long as we're moving forward, if I'm here, that's all I care about. I think we will."

Dunleavy said other teams have been put on notice that he's not interested in trading the pick, putting the percentage chance he'll use it at "99.9 percent." But there are always exceptions.

"You can never say never about anything, obviously," Dunleavy said. "I don't know who the players are in this league who may fit into that category. Obviously if the word 'LeBron' was spoken by anybody, somebody's door would open."

Listed at 6-10 -- and he looked an inch shy of that to me -- Griffin has the handle and agility to play small or power forward. Defensively, he looked capable of guarding at least three positions. He said some have compared him to Karl Malone, but I'd like to know what those people were smoking. Griffin looks like the classic swing player that is so crucial to the floor-spacing and offensive freedom that the NBA is trying to foster. Not having seen him enough in college to make a declarative statement, he didn't look like a pure power player in this workout to me.

Either way, even Dunleavy admitted that someone will have to go once Griffin arrives. "The math isn't great," he said, noting that he already has Marcus Camby, Chris Kaman, and Zach Randolph at the power positions before Griffin puts on a jersey. "Obviously," Dunleavy said, "we're going to explore other options."

Yup, those are the Clippers. Always exploring something. Maybe this is the one.

Category: NBA

Since: Jul 21, 2007
Posted on: June 7, 2009 9:48 pm

Griffin and Clippers still want each other

by what i saw of Griffin in college, he can knock down mid rangers.  idk what u were watchin

Since: Apr 23, 2009
Posted on: June 7, 2009 7:45 pm

Griffin and Clippers still want each other

Yea you are right because you must live in LA and are a huge Lakers fan right???  Do you honestly think the Magic will shoot 29% again this series???  You sound like a typical LA, Boston, NY Fan who CAN'T talk realistically about sports

HAHA Get real dude!!!

Since: Apr 21, 2007
Posted on: June 7, 2009 6:44 pm

Griffin and Clippers still want each other

Not gonna waste my time, but you obviously have no idea what you're talking about.  That's why guys like Odom, Gasol, and Bynum tore through the "outside-shooting" Magic in game 1. 

Since: Apr 23, 2009
Posted on: June 7, 2009 6:09 pm

Griffin and Clippers still want each other

My uncle will definitely get rid of one of those other bums in LA they could have a great backcourt with Gordon, Davis, and then if you add Griffin up front with Camby that is a formable team maybe not in the west to bad the the Clippers could not be in the JV league of the NBA.  Griffin has talent and a huge upside but is he enough to help the Clippers HELL NO I mean if the Clippers were not part of the NBA I doubt that any fans would honestly care.  Give another city a team maybe give Seattle a team back because their fans were great and appreciated a team.  I don't think anyone going to the other half of LA is a good fit espcially with an already loaded front court even though they don't produce...Adding Griffin could possibly be a step in the right direction if B. Davis balls like he did in Golden State, Gordon is going to be vastly improved and Griffin all they should do now is dump some of these other bums and see what happens.  Holla

Since: Dec 11, 2008
Posted on: June 7, 2009 4:39 pm

Griffin and Clippers still want each other

For the record.....

MJ didnt have a long range shot when he entered the NBA.  Kobe, I seem to remember air-balling a crucial 3-pt shot in one of his first playoff games, and since has DEVELOPED his shot.  LeBron is still getting his down.

Point being, Griffin already has most to all of the other intangibles needed, once he gets his chance to develop his shot.......

Look the #%^& out!

At the very least, give the guy a chance to actually enter the league and play a few games before you start saying he'll never be a HOf'er.  Let alone a few seasons!

"Anyone who watches the game on a regular basis"  should know that!

Since: Dec 4, 2006
Posted on: June 7, 2009 4:03 pm

Griffin and Clippers still want each other

Barkley and Karl Malone couldn't shoot from the outside when they got to the NBA. Gary Payton couldn't make anything but a layup his first year in the league. They developed jump shots to go along with their natural ability. Put Griffin with a shooting coach five hours a day and he'll be knocking them down.

Since: Feb 6, 2009
Posted on: June 7, 2009 3:51 pm
This comment has been removed.

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Since: Feb 6, 2009
Posted on: June 7, 2009 3:46 pm
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Since: May 17, 2009
Posted on: June 7, 2009 2:32 pm


Attention, Mike Dunleavy.

You have GOT to have an outside game, unless you are a center or have blazing speed like Rondo of the Boston Celtics. Anyone who watches the game on a regular basis knows this.

I am not saying he can't play in the NBA. There are plenty of NBA players who are slashers, or ball-handlers, or special roll-players. However, a #1 overall pick needs to be able to shoot the rock, not simply score. No one fears a mid-range shooter. Mid-range shooters do not create for others, long-range shooters do. You can guard a 18-foot jumper and still not let someone by you for a lay-up.

Guys like Kobe Bryant and Labron James can get to the rack. But its their threat of the three ball that allows them to blow past defenders and create for others (or in their case, take it to the hole themselves).

I like Blake Griffin. He is going to be a solid NBA player. But he will never be a Hall-of-Fame player unless he can knock them down from long range. And players drafted #1 are guys you hope will one day be multiple All-Stars and potential Hall-of Famers.

This isn't that type of guy.

Since: Jan 29, 2008
Posted on: June 7, 2009 8:37 am

Griffin and Clippers still want each other

The title of this story, in and of itself, is a lie.  This is because there is not one player in the NBA that IS a good fit with the Clippers.  They have been so poorly run and managed for such a long time, a great increase in talent on the floor may not even be enough to save this team.  Baron Davis, Zach Randolph, and every other player on the team always appears to be disgruntled and ready to take the first departing flight to anywhere.  I wish Blake Griffin the best, but he is about to head to the team where careers go to die.

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