The Clippers’ trade of Blake Griffin one year ago came months after the star forward was sold in free agency, in a pitch complete with a mock jersey retirement ceremony, on becoming a “Clipper for life.”
As Griffin prepares to face the Clippers on Saturday at Staples Center for the first time since being dealt to Detroit, his former coach, Doc Rivers, believes Griffin will eventually receive the honor, this time for real.
It follows comments by Rivers earlier this season that DeAndre Jordan, Griffin’s “Lob City” running mate before leaving for Dallas last summer, also is deserving of a retired jersey.
“Those two, I think they should go in the same day, I really do,” Rivers told the Los Angeles Times following the Clippers’ 121-100 loss Thursday in Denver. “Blake was great for us, he really was. It didn’t end great because we traded him but at the end of the day, Blake and D.J. started the birth of the Clippers.
“[Griffin] deserves a standing ovation.”
A high-flying forward whose comedic chops helped extend his reach into Hollywood, Griffin’s marketability lifted the Clippers out of NBA irrelevance and his production helped launch the most successful period of the franchise's history.
The 2011 NBA rookie of the year, Griffin became a four-time All-NBA selection and is the franchise’s second all-time leading scorer, is third in rebounds and ranks in the top five in minutes, field goals, free throws, assists and fouls. He signed a five-year contract worth $171 million in 2017.