Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Celtics players 'begged' Blake Griffin to return for one more run this season

The Celtics have a 7.5-game lead at the top of the Eastern Conference, while riding a season-high win streak of eight straight following their 116-102 victory over the Knicks Saturday.

Boston has also added two more potential rotational pieces in big man Xavier Tillman and young guard Jaden Springer as reinforements at the trade deadline with one open roster spot still up for grabs.

On a recent episode of Barstool's Pardon My Take Podcast, Derrick White and Payton Pritchard spoke about what it was like playing with former All-Star Blake Griffin, to which the Celtics teammates both answered in unison, "The best."

Griffin, who hasn't played an NBA game since last year, stepped away from the game -- in what may be considered retirement -- to spend more time with his family.

In his lone season with the Celtics, the 13-year veteran put up 4.1 points on 48.5% shooting from the field and 34.8% from the 3-point line in 41 games -- which included 16 starts for an average of 13.9 minutes per contest.
"Obviously, Blake's probably one of the best teammates all of us have ever had," White said. "Any time you have him around, it's great, but I feel like it's his decision and we respect that. We all just love having him around."
"I think the whole team is begging him to come back to Boston," White added on wanting Griffin to rejoin the Celtics.
Pritchard even admitted that he texts Griffin every few weeks while continuously asking him when will he return to the team.
"I texted him actually a week ago or two jokingly being like, 'Coming back for one last ride?' He says he's enjoying his life," Pritchard said.
Apparently during the Celtics trip out west in December, several members of the team reached out to Griffin on a possible return, including coach Joe Mazzulla.
"I talked to him one or two times when we were in LA, but when he told me at the end of last season that his family was the most important thing, I stopped talking to him about it," Mazzulla said Monday in his post-practice presser. "I know what it's like to be away from your kids and your family. He's always going to make that decision and what's best for him."
Still, it didn't stop Pardon My Take host Dan Katz from making one last-ditch effort to court Griffin by calling the soon-to-be 35-year-old directly during the episode with White and Pritchard present -- to which he deflected the question of possibly coming back to Boston.
"We talk quite a bit," Griffin said of his fomer C's teammates. "I'm just enjoying my life right now guys."
While the recruitment of Griffin has somewhat failed thus far, the former Celtics forward did reveal who he'll be rooting for as there are 25 games left in the regular season before a potential deep playoff run that hopefully spans into June and with the hoisting of the Larry O'Brien trophy.
"They're my favorites," Griffin said of the Celtics' title chances. "I don't guarantee, I don't want to put bad juju on them but they are the heavy favorites in my mind." 

Joel Pavón

Photo used courtesy of Getty Images

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