Blake Griffin: Pistons ‘made me realize what a franchise looks like’

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When the Clippers traded Blake Griffin to the Pistons, he said he was just happy to play for a team that wanted him. Detroit winning its first four games with him only added to the good feelings.

But now that the Pistons have stumbled out of the playoff race, how does Griffin – a presence in commercials and show business – feel about going from L.A. to Detroit?

Griffin, via Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated:

“If I wasn’t happy with where I was at or excited to be here, it would take a little bit longer,” Griffin said. “But as soon as I got here to Detroit, the franchise, the way they go about taking care of the players, the way they do everything, is first-class, so that makes the transition much easier. [Coach] Stan [Van Gundy] and the whole staff has been awesome. I’m not looking back.

“I haven’t put much thought into it, to be honest. I’ve been so focused on making this transition and [adjusting] to this change that I haven’t put that much thought into it. I never want to be in a place where I’m not wanted. Coming here made me realize what a franchise looks like.”

Griffin, via Rod Beard of The Detroit News:

“This is a franchise that has a history of winning and a history of championships,” Griffin told The Detroit News. “They just do little things — not to throw shade at any other franchise — but you notice these little things when you come here. It’s good to see the culture from the past, from the Bad Boys era and from the Goin’ to Work era, has carried over and people still talk about those guys.

“When you have examples like that that set the standard for the franchise, it makes a difference to me.”

Despite Griffin’s denial, it’s hard not to read these comments as throwing shade at the Clippers.

They won only one playoff series in Los Angeles prior to drafting Griffin and were a laughingstock for decades. It takes time to eradicate their organizational deficiencies. (Ousting Donald Sterling went a long way.)

“Coming here made me realize what a franchise looks like” really stands out. It’d be tough to convince me Griffin didn’t know that’d come across like a shot at the Clippers and said it anyway.

Griffin clearly doesn’t want to completely blast the Clippers publicly. But he also seems comfortable with a slight dig here and there.