Dunk contest participant. Potential All-Star. Playoff contender. Los Angeles Clippers. Typing those words in succession didn’t really feel right, I’ll tell you that, but Blake Griffin has that grouping feeling appropriate.
The budding superstar has certainly won over fans far beyond the reaches of Los Angeles, thanks in large part to his nightly highlight reel of thunderous dunks. Now, he’s also got himself moving up the list of candidates for the actual All-Star Game. And why not? Who cares if he’s in his first real season? If he’s got the nation watching, those should be the guys in the game.
Besides, after a 1-13 start to the season, the Clippers have hovered around a .500 mark since then, including a victory over the Miami Heat. Making the playoffs may still be a long shot. Seeing Griffin in the All-Star Game shouldn’t be.
Blake Griffin joined KLAC in Los Angeles with Petros and Money to discuss what it was like to take down the Heat, how the Clippers have turned around since their disastrous start, what it would mean to be an All-Star, Baron Davis’ comeback, how sitting out a year with an injury actually helped him, his preparation for the dunk contest and the Clippers thinking playoffs.
What it meant to beat the Miami Heat:
“It was great; it was amazing. It was a packed house and we came out of the gate and played well. I couldn’t be happier with how we played as a team and it was a lot of fun.”
How the Clippers have turned things around after a 1-13 start:
“It was definitely frustrating, but at the same time, as a team we kind of understood that we were playing so many young guys. We had a lot of injuries to our vets. I think, now, looking back on it, all the time that our young guys got, I think is going to help us down the road.”
On his All-Star push and what it would mean to make it:
“It would mean a lot, but at the same time I realize there’s a lot of guys that I think deserve to be in that game. Hopefully I’ll have more years to possibly make the game. Right now we’re just working on trying to get wins and all the other things will take care of themselves.”
How Baron Davis has regrouped since being called out early in the year:
“We haven’t talked a lot about the past. Since he came back, our whole focus is just growing as a team on the court. Me and him, the more we play with each other, the more comfortable we are out there. He’s a blast to play with. He makes some passes that just kind of make you stand back and scratch your head. I think the more we play together, the better we’ll become.”
How having to sit out last year might have helped him this year:
“Just sitting out the whole year and seeing the game from a different perspective … I think helped. It helped me not only see what it was like, but at the same time, having an understanding and know what to expect coming into this year. … I think it definitely did help me.”
If he’s preparing for the dunk contest:
“I haven’t done a whole lot of research yet. I’ve still got a month or so, but come closer to the actual time, I might sit down and start thinking of a few things. For right now, I’m just going to keep working on my in-game dunks.”
Has the team discussed the possibility of the playoffs?:
“We talk about it as being a goal, but we realize that we haven’t done anything yet. The hole we dug ourselves into at the beginning of the season’s going to make it tough, but it’s a challenge and, as a team, we like that challenge.”