UPDATE: Blake Griffin clarified what went down with Clippers owner Steve Ballmer before Saturday’s game between Detroit and Los Angeles tipped off. Griffin told the media after things wrapped up that he wasn’t doing anything that was meant to serve as a slight against Ballmer. Instead, this is just his normal pre-game routine.
Griffin and the Pistons beat his old team, 109-104, with the All-Star forward stuffing the stat sheet, going for 44 points, eight rebounds, five assists, three steals, and a block.
EARLIER: It’s a big day for basketball fans in Los Angeles, as the Clippers are playing host to the Detroit Pistons for the first time since Blake Griffin was traded. Griffin is one of the greatest players in franchise history, and was instrumental in Los Angeles going from a laughing stock to a consistently good team in the Western Conference.
The Clippers moved Griffin prior to the 2018 trade deadline, and while the All-Star forward made it clear he appreciated the team’s fans in a statement after the move, he made some comments after that made it sound like there were some administrative things about Detroit that didn’t exist in Los Angeles. At the very least, a moment before Saturday’s game made it seem like Griffin isn’t a huge fan of the guy who moved him.
Griffin was finishing up warm-ups when Clippers owner Steve Ballmer wanted to say hello. Ballmer walked towards Griffin with a hand extended, and right as this was happening, Griffin went from walking to the locker room to running.
It’s something that Griffin will surely get asked about after the game, and it’s plausible that he’s just goofing around, but it certainly looks like he’s not a big Ballmer guy. Still, while he didn’t appreciate getting a hand extended from Ballmer, Clippers fans did everything they could to let Griffin know they still support their former star.
Additionally, the Clippers threw together an excellent video highlighting everything Griffin did on and off the court during his time in Los Angeles.
These sorts of returns for a star that used to suit up for a team can sometimes go awry, but Griffin didn’t request to get traded or anything like that, so it’s really cool to see that there’s still a ton of love for all he did for the Clippers.