Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Former Celtic Blake Griffin announces retirement after 13 NBA seasons

Six-time All-Star Blake Griffin, who last played with the Celtics during the 2022-23 campaign, has announced his retirement from the NBA after 13 seasons as a pro.

The veteran revealed in an Instagram post Tuesday on his decision to call it quits after a 14-year career.
"I'm thankful for every single moment -- not just the good ones: the wins, the awards, the dunks, and the memorable times spent with family, friends, fans, teammates, and coaches," Griffin wrote via social media. "I'm equally as thankful for the no-so-good moments: the loses, the injuries, the way too many surgeries, the lessons, the heartbreaks, and it wouldn't be a sports retirement letter without acknowledging the 'haters.' 
"All of these experiences made my 14 years in the league truly unforgettable, and I can't help but just feel thankful."
Griffin, who was selected with the first overall pick in the 2009 NBA Draft by the Clippers, missed his first season due to a patella injury -- but did make a full recovery to win 2010-11 Rookie of the Year honors, while also be voted as an All-Star and winning the Dunk Contest when he jumped over a car on his final attempt of the event.

The 6-foot-9 forward enjoyed the next five years -- his most productive -- alongside All-Stars Chris Paul and DeAndre Jordan averaging 21.5 points, 9.7 rebounds and 4.0 assists per contest, but not much playoff success before being traded to the Pistons in 2018.

During his first season with Detroit, Griffin earned his sixth and final All-Star selection in the 2019-20 season -- posting a career best 24.5 points, 7.5 rebounds, and 5.4 assists per game. But injuries sidelined the vet, limiting him to just 20 games throughout the 2020-21 campaign.

After a failed experiment in the Motor City, Griffin was bought out of his contract midway through the 2021-22 season before landing with the Brooklyn Nets -- where he would re-sign on a one-year deal.

Griffin would make his last stop by inking a one-year contract with the Celtics in September of 2022, just before training camp. He averaged 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 -- while making an impact in the locker room in his lone year in Beantown.

It was back in February that Derrick White and Payton Pritchard called Griffin one of "the best teammates," as they tried "begging" him to come back for one more run this season.
"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.
While Griffin ultimately didn't come back and now instead has decided to retire having not won a ring, he did throw some support towards his former teammates in Boston when asked who were the favorites to win the championship come June.
"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 NBC Sports Boston

No comments:

Post a Comment