Blake Griffin managed to acknowledge the past, and the future, in one sweet sweep when he took the microphone and addressed the crowd before the Clippers' regular-season finale. Griffin, four quarters away from shedding his rookie status, thanked the Staples Center crowd for its support, adding: "It's been a fun year. We can't wait until next year. This is just the beginning." Then the power forward scored the Clippers' first nine points in the first three minutes against the unmotivated-looking Memphis Grizzlies, leading the Clippers to a 110-103 victory on Wednesday night. They withstood a late Memphis run as Griffin finished with his second career triple-double: 31 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists. And, of course, yet another dazzling dunk-fest. But back to next year. Indeed, with the threat of an NBA work stoppage looming, most thoughts are drifting toward next season. When Griffin spoke about next year, it might well be next year, in 2012, before the Clippers play their next regular season game. Uncertainty seems to be around every corner. How will a new collective bargaining agreement impact, say, third-year center DeAndre Jordan, who is poised for a significant pay raise after a breakthrough season. Jordan will be a restricted free agent, meaning the Clippers can match any offer coming his way. In Jordan's favor: The draft is thin at center, and there are only a handful available via free agency. What could work against Jordan is if the current mid-level exception shrinks or goes away in a new CBA, cutting into his list of potential suitors. Jordan's emergence does not mean center Chris Kaman, an All-Star last season, has played his last game as a Clipper. The Clippers aren't looking to shop Kaman, at least not any time soon, according to those familiar with their thinking.
Blake Griffin finishes with a flair in win over Grizzlies
Los Angeles Times | Apr 14