Blake Griffin And Pistons To Part Ways

What happened to this guy?

Jim Rome
February 16, 2021 - 9:33 am
Blake Griffin

USA Today


Do you remember Blake Griffin? Ring a bell? Do you Remember Lob City Blake Griffin? The guy who was averaging a 20-point double-double, dunking over cars, doing national endorsements, and generally just destroying anybody and anything anything in his path.

Do you remember that? I know those Clipper bros do.

But, now all that of that feels like ancient history. Because now Griffin is in Detroit and now Detroit is looking to get Griffin out of Detroit. The team announced yesterday that the 6-time All-Star will be out of the lineup until the organization and Griffin’s team are able to work out a plan for his playing future.

GM Troy Weaver told ESPN: "After extensive conversation with Blake's representatives, it has been determined that we will begin working to facilitate a resolution regarding his future with the team that maximizes the interests of both parties. We respect all the effort Blake has put forth in Detroit and his career and will work to achieve a positive outcome for all involved."

For his part, Griffin issued a statement that "I am grateful to the Pistons for understanding what I want to accomplish in my career and for working together on the best path forward."

Let me help with translating those statements: the team is trying to trade him and if that doesn’t work, buy him out. And he won’t be playing with Detroit until they have that completed.

In other words, Blake Griffin is done in Detroit.

And on the surface you’re thinking – why is a team that is dead last in the division looking to get rid of Blake Griffin? Why is a team in that spot that has struggled to find an identity for years, looking to dump their most recognizable player?

Because Blake Griffin is barely recognizable. Running back those Clips at the top of this take, they seem like they aren’t just from a different team and a different decade, but from a different lifetime.

Those dunks and that nastiness are ancient history. That dude’s dead and gone and never coming back. Watching those dunks, you’d never be thinking that a day would come when a team would be looking to trade that guy or buy him out.

And that’s the thing – we’re not just talking about Detroit trading him, we’re talking about the fact that they might have a hard time trading him. Time was, if Blake Griffin was on the trading block, there would be teams lining up to get him.

Now it’s practically impossible. He’s making a shade under 37 mill this year and due another 39 next year. That is a massive contract and one that’s really hard to move. Not just because of all that jack; but because he’s just a guy now. Just another guy. Fact. I get why he’d want to go to contender, I’m just sure why a contender would want to bring him. Especially at that cost. Because he’s not the same player. Not even close. And I’m not even talking about the fact that he’s averaging 12 points per game. And that he’s hitting less than 37% of his shots from the field.

I’m talking about the fact that he has two blocks. Not in his last game. Not in his last week. Not in the last month. This entire season.

He’s blocked two shots this season. And I know what you’re thinking, it’s Blake Griffin, not exactly Dikembe Mutombo. But Grayson Allen has more blocked shots than Blake Griffin. Coby White has more blocked shots than Blake Griffin and that’s not exactly White’s game either.

You’d think a guy with Blake’s size and lift would stumble into a block or two every now and then, even by accident.

But he hasn’t and that’s not even the scariest part. Because while Blake Griffin only has two blocks, he has more blocks than dunks this year. He has exactly zero dunks this season. In fact, he hasn’t had a dunk in a game since December 2019.

Let me say that again: Blake Griffin has not dunked in an NBA game since December 2019.

The guy who used to jump over cars can’t jump off the ground. Forget about playing above the rim, this guy doesn’t even play above the floor.

Quietly, while nobody was watching the Pistons, Blake Griffin turned into a dude in cement shoes.

So if you’re the fan of another team and you’re thinking, sweet, we can get Blake Griffin in a trade or a buyout – just know what you’re getting. Because you aren’t getting the all-NBA guy who jumped over cars. You’re getting the guy who hasn’t dunked in a game since the movie Cats was in theaters.

And I want to be clear about this – this isn’t Blake’s fault. Not all of it. It’s not his fault that father time is jumping over the entire universe to dunk on his ass. Not his fault he can’t stay healthy. And no, He didn’t go Shawn Kemp post-lockout and put on forty or eighty pounds. He’s just breaking down physically and looks like a shot fighter. And I’m sure it has to suck to be in his spot right now.

It has to suck to have been that guy and to now be this guy. It has to suck to have the Detroit Pistons tell you that you’re not in their plans. And not only that, but you’re in the way of their rebuild. The Pistons are effectively telling Blake Griffin that they would be better off without him. And they’re right. And he’s lucky they’re trying to right by him.  Or at least right by what’s left of him.