Blake Griffin and the Detroit Pistons have been at odds when it comes to their relationship, but Griffin kinda has had the last laugh this go ’round.
Now rejuvenated with the Brooklyn Nets, Blake Griffin was recently a struggling Detroit Piston, and wasn’t exactly in good graces with the city’s fans by the time he left.
Or when he started dunking again.
Though he started out with a decent season in Detroit in 2018, it didn’t always stay gravy. Griffin began his tenure strong, becoming one of the first Pistons to reach a 50-point game since Rip Hamilton, averaging over 20 points a game, and making the All-Star team.
Although he was a solid player, he’d find himself in a rut as time went on. He was unable to find the joy in playing for the team, he stopped dunking, he looked frustrated, and he even played hot potato with Reggie Jackson for 13 seconds straight once.
Needless to say, the relationship was strained. Partner that with Griffin playing with a torn meniscus, and there was very little reason to keep the relationship going. When he got the opportunity to play with Brooklyn, it was unclear if Griffin would be able to provide the same energy he had in Los Angeles with the Clippers, or even in his early years in Detroit.
He came back with a vengeance, and when Griffin had the opportunity to play against his old home team in Detroit, the welcome was not warm by any means. As a matter of fact, you could say that they straight up had hate for the man. Fast forward to today, and you have a relationship that still seems a bit soured.
Nets star Blake Griffin threw shade to his former team, saying “I would hate me, too.”
Though he’s far removed from those days with Detroit, their fans don’t and won’t forget the odds they were at throughout the duration of his time there. It didn’t seem as though they were mad at his performance per se, but rather the fact he became an electric player immediately after rejoining Brooklyn.
Hence why we got this golden response from Griffin, throwing shots at his former fans while he reviewed his own trading card on the Pardon My Take podcast:
“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.”
Geez, but where is the lie? Detroit gets caught up in a lot of shade with current and former players who have played for the franchise. Folks hate the team and everything they stand for, regardless of who’s playing there.
Because of that, Griffin really would have fit perfectly in the “Detroit Bad Boy” system if they’d found success during his time there. He’s known to be an antagonizing force and has always made a point to speak his mind when it came to any team, topic or player. Be it the Lakers, the Pistons, TMZ… whoever.
His villain-esque persona persists, and the shady comment proves it… but the key word in the previous hypothetical statement is “success”. Griffin was individually successful… but the team was not successful as a collective. This is why Brooklyn was simply a good fit for him, because he’s no longer the only contributing player on the squad.
He now has the opportunity to be the bad guy and chase a championship with a team that has the players around him to facilitate success. As the 2021-22 season moves closer and closer, and fans, critics and others start to increase their commentary, expect Griffin to tap into the antagonist role even more, because that’s just what he does… and he’s pretty damn good at it.