If it’s true that all the best comedians are inspired by their darker side, then it made perfect sense that Blake Griffin was a smash hit on that Montreal stage last August.

With every joke – from the bit about postgame interviews and why they’re absurd to the player’s perspective on being traded (“Imagine if there were trades in relationships…”) to the Thanksgiving-themed strip club segment at the end – the Los Angeles Clippers star who moonlights as a funny man off the floor earned the hearty laughter of a quaint crowd at the Just For Laughs Festival.

“Basketball is obviously always my main thing, (but) I really enjoy doing something (where) you get outside of your comfort zone,” Griffin told USA TODAY Sports recently. “That (show in Montreal) was, like, terrifying. Small audience. Not even like a remotely big show at the festival, but still, like – terrifying…I think that's how you get better as a person. You figure things out about yourself, and you have confidence about different things, so anything I do I want to do it as well as I possibly can and not just do it to do it.”

If only last season was half that funny.

From the left quadriceps injury that sidelined him in late December to the fight with a team employee a month later at a Toronto restaurant that made matters so much worse to the quad reinjuring in late April that ended his 2015-16 campaign midway through a first-round playoff series against the Portland Trail Blazers, these were some of the darkest days of Griffin’s seven-year NBA career.

But after his summer of introspection, that offseason stretch in which the healing came in so many different forms, the light is back in Griffin’s life. And the Clippers, cast aside amid the Golden State Warriors’ rise, are looking like title contenders again.