LOS ANGELES – In late January, the sports media discovered that the already-injured, NBA superstar Blake Griffin had broken his hand, therefore extending his prolonged time off of the court. After more delving by reporters, it was soon determined that Griffin had acquired this injury by punching a team equipment manager, outside a restaurant in Toronto. Such an absurd way to injure oneself was an embarrassment to both Blake Griffin and the entire Clippers organization, especially since Griffin was scheduled to return that same week.
Over the past few days, as the NBA trade deadline nears, there have been talks circulating about trading Blake Griffin… to this team… or to that one. However, such ideas of trading away Blake Griffin are ridiculous for the Los Angeles Clippers to even consider. As coach and general manager Doc Rivers said, “We’re not trading Blake… nothing’s going on”. After all, Griffin is a superstar in his prime and he obviously regrets his actions.
It has become apparent to the NBA that Blake Griffin is an astounding basketball player and athlete. His high-flying, thunderous dunks have put him among the NBA’s best. In addition, his impressive play has helped the LA Clippers make an appearance as one of the NBA’s stronger teams, and therefore having the possibility of vying for the league title.
And it isn’t like Griffin is disappearing soon. He is a month away from turning 27, still in the prime of his NBA career (excluding any unexpected events). Therefore he can still be considered a valuable asset to the Clippers’ franchise, both present and future. If, for a random example, Chris Paul were the one getting involved in such issues then maybe the Clippers’ approach would be somewhat different. CP3 has already been sidelined for extended periods of time for various injuries. He struggles to consistently play a long game in which he leads the team. In other words, he is beginning to get old. However, such older age problems aren’t apparent at all with Blake Griffin. He is still in the peak of his physical form, and his play had shown that. Therefore, he still has the ability to win games for the Clippers and be an on-court example for the team’s younger players.
In addition, this past Tuesday (Feb. 16), Blake Griffin addressed the media for the first time since his fight. It was apparent to everyone in the room that he was shaken and upset by his actions, not appearing robotic whatsoever. He said, “I just want to say that I have had a lot of time to reflect, and that I am very truly, truly sorry for what happened. It was a situation between two friends that kind of got out of hand and I exercised poor judgment. I have spoken to Matias [the equipment manager, and Griffin’s friend, who was punched] about it. I have spoken to my teammates about it. The last people to apologize to are the fans and to show them how sorry I am for this situation. It is something that I feel awful about.”
This heartfelt apology that Griffin delivered definitely shows that he has deep regret for what he did. He felt terrible about it, apologizing to players, coaches, Matias, and fans for what he did. This obvious display of Griffin’s emotional distress shows that he does care about being a better person. Such signs are therefore positive for the Clippers organization. If Griffin is willing to work hard to rid himself of his off-the-court issues, then there is no reason why the Clippers should trade him, such a valuable player, away.
In conclusion, Blake Griffin is a talented, young superstar that let his emotions get the better of him one night in Toronto. During his press conference with the media, it was apparent that he deeply regretted his actions as he apologized to everyone who may have been affected. This shows that Griffin is willing to address his off-the-court issues in order to be a better player on-the-court, and the LA Clippers should reward him for that by not trading him away.