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Should Blake Griffin be the First Clipper to Have Their Jersey Retired?

The Clippers are considering retiring Blake Griffin's jersey.

Blake Griffin brought a lot of excitement to the Los Angeles Clippers during his tenure there. The first overall pick in the 2009 NBA Draft, Griffin was a part of the ‘Lob City’ era Clippers teams that also featured Chris Paul and DeAndre Jordan. Griffin became a household name being featured in national ads such as Kia and Nike. His explosive athleticism allowed him to win the Slam Dunk Contest in 2011.

Now 35 years old, Griffin announced his retirement from basketball in April after playing in 2022-23 with the Boston Celtics. Being away from the game can now allow him to reflect more on how his 13-year NBA career went.

Should Blake Griffin be the First Clipper to Have Their Jersey Retired?

First Clippers Player to Have Jersey Retired?

There are just two current NBA franchises that have yet to retire a former player’s jersey. Those are the Toronto Raptors and the Clippers. Griffin spoke with former NBA player Chandler Parsons of FanDuel TV about the possibility of becoming the first for Los Angeles. Griffin donned the #32 jersey while with the Clippers.

After being selected first overall in 2009, Griffin missed the first year of his career with a broken left kneecap. While that is a serious injury that could impact someone who is so athletic, it didn’t seem to hamper Griffin the following season. He was named Rookie of the Year in 2010-11. All in all, the 6-9” Griffin played his first seven full seasons with Los Angeles. He played 33 games for them in 2017-18 before being traded to the Detroit Pistons.

In his 504 career regular-season games with the Clippers, Griffin posted averages of 21.6 points, 9.3 rebounds, and 4.2 assists. The power forward was named an All-Star five straight years from 2011 to 2015. Griffin made three All-NBA teams in his Clippers tenure (2X Second Team, 1X Third Team) and finished top-ten in MVP voting three times (highest finish of third in 2013-14). Griffin also posted averages of 21.0 points, 8.5 rebounds, and 3.9 assists in 51 playoff games for Los Angeles.

Never Could Breakthrough in the Postseason

The Clippers reached the playoffs in each of Griffin’s last six full seasons with the team. They won between 51 and 57 regular season games in the last five of those years. Those were the first five 50+ win seasons in franchise history. Unfortunately for Griffin and the Clippers, they were unable to even advance to the Western Conference Finals in that time. Three times they reached the second round with Griffin on the team, but no further.

In the 2015 NBA Playoffs, the Clippers owned a 3-1 series lead over the Houston Rockets in the Western Conference Semifinals. Los Angeles went on to lose the next three contests by a combined 46 points. Nonetheless, Griffin’s tenure with the team was the first time in franchise history that they experienced any type of sustained success. They had only won one playoff series ever prior to his arrival.


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