If you recall, Pistons fans all but started to lose their minds when what appeared to be a rejuvenated Blake Griffin emerged playing with the Brooklyn Nets. Griffin turned back the clock and started dunking the basketball as he did in his heyday with the Los Angeles Clippers, which caught Detroit Pistons fans off guard.
In his first appearance back in Detroit, Griffin exploded with 17 points in 20 minutes of work coming off the Nets’ bench. After completing a dunk with authority, Griffin exploded screaming, ‘I’ve still got it,’ and Pistons fans greeted that celebration with muffled boos. At the time, there had been attendance restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic, and I can’t imagine how loud the boos would have sounded with more fans in the building.
Blake Griffin fires back at Detroit Pistons fans.
During his recent appearance on ‘Pardon My Take’ Griffin had this to say about being booed by Detroit fans;
Blake said, “That must have been the 2018-19 season when I was an All-Star, All-NBA, I dunked a few times, played in the playoffs injured, but ya… I’d hate me too Detroit.”
A bit snarky, if you ask me.
Griffin mentioned his 2018-19 season, where he dunked nearly 40 times and represented the Pistons in the NBA All-Star game. Blake doesn’t need to justify his effort or his career achievements. It’s a bit childish of Griffin to be so caught up in something like this. Anytime an opposing player is hotdogging it in Detroit, they are going to be greeted with boos. It gets a bit amplified when it is a former player who appeared to be just a shell of his once self before moving on.
Although Griffin played with his heart on his sleeve while battling through a serious knee injury, willing the Detroit Pistons to a playoff birth during the 2018-19 season, his play significantly dropped off following that run.
Griffin’s play in 18-19 somewhat justified his atrocious contract as the talented forward played his way into his first All-Star appearance since 2014-15. Griffin averaged a career-high 24.5 points per game during his first full season with the Pistons.
I’ll never forget Griffin limping around on the court in Little Caesars Arena for games three and four despite being too injured to play in games one and two in Milwaukee.
Although the Pistons would eventually be swept by the mighty Bucks, Griffin’s effort struck a chord with the city and he departed game four midway through the fourth quarter to a standing ovation. Detroit is a hard-working, blue-collar city, and we’ve always appreciated the lunch pail mentality from gritty players nearly as much as the stars.
For a year, Griffin felt like he checked both boxes.
The 31-year old forward struggled last season with the Pistons and seemed to prefer to hover around the three-point line rather than work in the paint where he’s best suited. Griffin also carried the basketball and saw the offense run through him far too often.
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Some of the blame needs to be placed on head coach Dwane Casey for not utilizing the one-time star the proper way at this juncture of his career.