Blake Griffin announces retirement from NBA after 14 years

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Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Six-time All-Star forward Blake Griffin announced his retirement from the NBA on Tuesday.

Griffin was selected first overall by the LA Clippers out of Oklahoma in the 2009 draft. His time in Los Angeles got off to a rough start, as he broke the patella in his left knee during the preseason.

Griffin came back the following season and won the 2010-11 Rookie of the Year Award and made the first of five straight All-Star appearances. He also won the Slam Dunk Contest that season after slamming over a parked car.

His high-flying highlights became the calling card of the Clippers, who really took off in the 2011-12 season with the addition of point guard Chris Paul.

The acquisition of Paul and his penchant for alley-oop passes to Griffin and center DeAndre Jordan transformed the Clippers into Lob City, and ushered in the most successful era in franchise history.

"Blake was a big part of the turnaround here," said Tyronn Lue, the current Clippers coach who was an assistant on the staff early in Griffin's L.A. career. "Blake was one of the most dynamic players we've seen in this league for a long time as far as athletic-wise. One thing he doesn't get credit for is his passing ability. He had a great career."

Playoff success eluded the Clippers, however, and Griffin was surprisingly traded to the Detroit Pistons during the 2018 season, just months after signing a five-year, $171 million extension with the Clippers.

Griffin, 35, spent parts of the next four seasons in Detroit before being bought out during the 2020-21 season and signing with the Brooklyn Nets. He played last season for the Boston Celticsbut averaged a career-low 4.1 points, 3.8 rebounds and 1.5 assists while appearing in 41 games in a mostly reserve role.

Despite the ups and downs of his career, Griffin repeatedly said in his Instagram post that he was thankful for his NBA life.

"All of these experiences made my 14 years in the league truly unforgettable and I can't help but to just feel thankful," Griffin said.

Griffin's best season was the 2013-14 campaign, when he averaged 24.1 points, 9.5 rebounds and 3.9 assists, and finished third in MVP voting behind Kevin Durant and LeBron James.

For his career, Griffin averaged 19.0 points, 8.0 rebounds and 4.0 assists. He was named second-team All-NBA three times and third-team All-NBA twice.

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