Saturday night was a monumental night for Blake Griffin, and not just because of basketball.
After the Clippers eliminated the San Antonio Spurs from the playoffs with a 111-109 win in Game 7 of their first-round playoff series, Griffin brought his son, Ford, with him to the interview podium for the first time.
At one point while Chris Paul was talking about his game-winning shot, Griffin looked down at his son and stuck his tongue out. Both father and son started chuckling.
“It’s awesome, man,” Griffin said. “Really since I’ve been here, since the last three, four years after every game, you guys see all the kids in the locker room. He has no clue what’s going on. He has no clue what just happened or who he’s sitting next to. I don’t really know how to describe it. It puts everything in perspective.”
Paul began bringing his son, 5-year-old Chris, into the locker room as soon as he joined the Clippers in 2011. The following season, the Clippers acquired Jamal Crawford and Matt Barnes, and they followed suit with their children, Crawford with his 4-year-old son, J.J., and Barnes with his 6-year-old twin boys, Carter and Isaiah.
Griffin’s son is much younger, only 9 months old, and this was the first time that this particular father and son were together after the game.
Quipped Paul, who was sitting next to them on the interview podium: “Blake used to be the first one to call it Daddy Day Care.”
Responded Griffin: “Now it’s my turn.”
A recent Times article looked at what having their kids in the locker room means to the players.
“[Coach Doc Rivers] has been amazing in letting us,” Paul said then. “Some coaches may not like that or want [kids in the locker room]. ... It gives us some sense of normalcy and makes us not take ourselves too seriously.”