Clippers: Blake Griffin’s rookie moment


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There was no Kia in sight on the court but that didn’t stop revisiting one of the electrifying moments of Blake Griffin‘s rookie season, in which he dunked over the car to win the Slam Dunk Contest.

His parents, Tommy and Gail, were on hand for Wednesday’s official announcement of Griffin’s NBA rookie of the year award at the Clippers’ facility in Playa Vista. Naturally, Tommy was asked about their level of parental concern during All-Star weekend.


‘I know she [Gail] was kind of worried,’ Tommy said. ‘I know Blake. If Blake didn’t think he could do it, he wouldn’t do it. And he is pretty much a daredevil. But if he feels he can do it, more than likely he can do it. So I really didn’t have any fear about it.’

His issue was with more than the jump itself.

‘I didn’t know whether he was going to go over the middle of the car or over the front of the car,’ he said.

Later, Tommy, who coached Blake and his older brother Taylor in high school, talked about Blake’s rookie season. He may not have been surprised but was impressed how Griffin handled taking hard fouls and some cheap shots in his first NBA season. They had covered that ground when Blake played college basketball at Oklahoma.

‘I told him, there’s going to be some people that are going after you to get you,” Tommy said. “When Taylor graduated, we had a private moment. All the really bad things… Welcome to Taylor’s world. They’re going to happen to you. Don’t fall for it [and retaliate]. Don’t let them win.’’

But most of the day, the celebration, had a feel of the first chapter of a novel, not the middle. That Griffin’s best is yet to come. To that end, Griffin already was at the team’s practice facility bright and early, getting in his workout long before the ceremony. And he spoke eagerly about wanting to start next season right away.

Said Gail Griffin: ‘He can’t wait to get started. That’s Blake. He finishes one thing and he’s ready to go to the next. He’ll be back at it.’


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-- Lisa Dillman