When Chris Paul elected to sign with Houston in 2017, Blake Griffin was supposed to carry over the new era for the Clippers. He was given a shiny new contract and the key to the franchise… only to be traded months later.
It was a deal nobody saw coming, and one that wasn’t necessary for the Clippers. Nonetheless, the decision was made to let him go, and the two sides have gone their separate ways.
With all this history, it’s only natural for some animosity to be lingering in the relationship. During Saturday night’s match against his former ball club, Blake Griffin let some of that animosity show. As Clippers owner Steven Balmer, who no doubt had a hand in trading Griffin from L.A., reached in for a handshake, the 5x All-Star is seen literally running away, refusing to even acknowledge his former owner’s presence.
In Griffin’s mind, the Clippers betrayed him. When they recruited him the summer Paul left, they sold him on the idea of his jersey one day being in the rafters. They preached a desire to let Blake be their new face. He signed on, played his heart out, and was promptly traded not even a full season later.
The NBA is a business, that much is true. But it doesn’t mean some of those “business” decisions can’t come with some consequences. For the Clips, they’ll find that a burnt bridge with one of their former stars is one of them.