Blake Griffin: from dunk over a car to doing none

The Pistons power forward has so transformed his game to avoid further injury that his hallmark for so many years has disappeared.


Blake Griffin's professional career is reaching unexpected tinges if we travel back in time to 2008. A star at the University of Oklahoma, he was preparing for the big leap. The predictions placed him at number one in his promotion, that of 2009. In that litter that is talked about so much years later, ahead of James Harden, Stephen Curry, Ricky Rubio and other players with less history and exposure, Blake was the best based on what the Clippers chose. A marvel in the physical, a money making machine and a player with limitations but a lot of potential. He did not play the first year because of a broken left knee, a severe warning. He finally made his debut in 2010 and was still considered a rookie by the League, having spent the previous season in white. Points began to rain, spectacular plays, money and, where appropriate, tons of covers on coated paper. Connected well to life in Los Angeles and being one of the standard bearers of his own style in the Clippers along with Chris Paul, DeAndre Jordan, Jamal Crawford and others everything looked good. But that warning was going to reproduce itself over the years and leave him anesthetized with reality, that of the physical demands of high-level sport.

In 2011, in the debut season in which he would so surprise by being Rookie of the Year and leaving posters for history, one event stood out. And it had nothing to do with the Clippers or with what happened in a campaign in which the reign of the neighbors, the Lakers, came to an end and the veteran Mavericks took the throne. At the end of that winter the breath of LA fans heated the Staples Center like a boiler at the All-Star, played there, when they saw what Griffin did in the Dunk Contest. JaVale McGee, DeMar DeRozan and Serge Ibaka were stunned to verify a flight that would travel the newscasts around the world hours later. Blake took the trophy as the winner of the contest. Legend has it that the NBA had already decided the winner beforehand and such a result was induced. The action in question was a crush over a car, yes, but on the lower part, the hood, which left fans with mixed feelings: the mate was very attractive, but the difficulty was perhaps not so much as to win. The controversy came because KIA, the vehicle brand, was the one that put the car; the NBA has had her as a sponsor since 2008. The advertising minutes are not free and even less on such a scale.

The point is that Blake Griffin has not been smiled with all that luck, based on a good job of conditioning and reading the game, that he played on his part in his first year. Injuries, that warning that touched him at the time of landing in the major league, have been a constant. In 2012 he missed the Olympics for it, although the real problems started when they were competing in the West with Steve Kerr's mighty Warriors. Left quadriceps, right knee, right toe, left knee, and why he ended up impaled. With the Clippers, for injuring himself, he even broke his hand for punching a utility worker in a restaurant. But the streak has continued in the Pistons, where he arrived in 2018 and where he still does not see a fixed course that is none other than ending his contract and continuing to amass his fortune. Right ankle and left knee on up to three occasions. The account, unfortunately for him, has not stopped as far as braking is concerned.

In 2020 the change of mentality arrived. He did not want to injure himself more and sought to protect himself. He has never stood out for his throws from beyond four or five meters. His shooting mechanics were too robotic. Although not much has changed, now he has triples. Like many stars, he has had to adapt to these new times in which three is worth two. What he has sought is to get away from the rim, it has been good for him to go with the flow. Less contacts, less risks. This is how he wants to extend his career. He is only 31 years old and, although he has a good contract, in the summer he will be a free agent. The one who was once the king of the mates is no longer so, but neither is he a prince, infant or consort. He has not made a single mate so far this season and in his case there are already twelve games. In his first four years he accumulated 784 dunks only in the NBA regular phase and now the counter is at 0. In his first year 0.1% of his shots were triples and now the volume has risen to 59.4%, so he throws more than three than two. A metamorphosis that neither Franz Kafka.

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