Blake Griffin’s first game against the Clippers in LA happened on Saturday. Griffin still seems upset over how the Clippers treated him last year. You may remember that when Griffin was an unrestricted free agent in July 2017, the Clips (who had just traded Chris Paul to the rival Rockets as he threatened to leave) went way over the top in selling Griffin on being a Clipper for life, seeing his jersey retired in LA, the full nine. Per reports, their entire sales pitch was about being a legend who stayed with one team. Griffin ate it up.
The Clippers traded him for a package of parts a few months later.
On Saturday, Griffin probably snubbed Clippers franchisee Steve Ballmer (Griffin denies he knew Ballmer was trying to shake hands, but then said he wouldn’t have anyways, so if it’s not a straight-up snub it was close). In the game, Griffin was everything he can be at his best, ugly and vengeful, as he led to Pistons to a road victory.
Saying that the NBA “is a business” and that trades and the like are “just business, not personal” is all well and good. But the Clippers straight up lied to Griffin about their intentions to build around him. They lied to him to get him under contract so that they could flip him for other assets. That’s not “just business.” Griffin is allowed to be made, perhaps more so than any other player traded in past few years. Business doesn’t require dishonesty. The Clippers’ reputation with players should honestly take a hit from this. That Griffin is reminding everyone of what LA’s management did by remaining angry is a net positive.
Sixers 108, Knicks 105
Raptors 140, Wizards 138 (2OT)
Bucks 133, Hawks 114
Rockets 109, Magic 116
Warriors 119, Mavericks 114
Blazers 113, Nuggets 116
Cavaliers 101, Lakers 95
All times Eastern. Games on League Pass unless otherwise indicated.
Celtics at Nets, 7:30
Grizzlies at Rockets, 8
Hornets at Spurs, 8:30, NBA TV
Pistons at Jazz, 9
Blazers at Kings, 10
Pelicans at Clippers, 10:30
Kyrie Irving is frustrated with teammates after another mystifying loss. Are we in “players’ only meeting” territory here? I think we might be. The best thing about all of this is that Kyrie talking about the young kids on the team sounds a lot like LeBron talking about Kyrie a few years ago ...
Another truly outrageous Luka Doncic clutch performance on Friday. He’s breaking the Euro stigma into pieces and then dancing all over the scraps.
Chris Haynes reports that the Bulls won’t discuss a buyout with Robin Lopez. Apparently he wants to join the Warriors.
The Lakers are struggling without LeBron James, emphasis on the “ugh.” Ugly loss to the Cavaliers on Sunday. Luke Walton is talking about changing the starting lineup. If LeBron isn’t back soon, the heat on Walton is going to increase. You know how you can tell? Walton’s defenders in the media are proactively blaming the front office for poor roster construction when the Lakers are getting embarrassed.
The Nuggets had an awful loss to the Suns the other night, but Nikola Jokic insisted Denver beat the Blazers on Sunday. Probably one of the best games of Jokic’s career.
The Knicks have reportedly discussed nabbing Jabari Parker in one potential Enes Kanter deal, but the Bulls don’t want Kanter. Do I hear a Kanter to Kings, Parker to Knicks, Zach Randolph to the Bulls deal?
Matt Ellentuck writes that T.J. McConnell is the great teammate every roster needs.
Kristian Winfield argues that Thursday’s Spurs-Thunder game was the best of the season.
Maori Davenport is back in action after a judge approved an injunction on the Alabama amateur sports commission’s ruling to hold her out over a harmless clerical error involving a minor check from USA Basketball.
Be excellent to each other.