If you were shocked when you heard about the news that the L.A. Clippers traded Blake Griffin to the Detroit Pistons this week, you weren’t the only one.
Apparently, the All-Star found out just like everyone else… through Twitter.
In Blake’s introductory press conference with the Pistons, he revealed how shocked he was.
“Shocked is a good way to put it,” Griffin said, before admitting he was a bit disappointing in how it went down.
“Basketball is a business, the NBA is a business, and they made a decision,” he told ESPN. “The only thing I just wish I had known or had the opportunity to talk to somebody beforehand. Finding out through Twitter, through other people is a tough way to find out when you’ve been with a franchise for so long. But at the end of the day, basketball is a business, and I want to play where a team wants me. And that’s why I’m excited about being here.”
After news of the trade spread, reports pointed out that he did not have a “no-trade” clause in the five-year, $171 million deal he signed with the Clippers last summer… and he has no regrets about it.
“At the time [I signed], it was around the time where Melo was going through his whole thing in New York with the no-trade clause,” Griffin said. “I don’t think it was something that was a real option at the time. Like I said, I want to play for a franchise that wants me to be here, and clearly [the Clippers] didn’t, so this is what’s most exciting to me.”
Despite having new teammates and playing under a new system, Griffin says he believes he and Pistons All-Star big man Andre Drummond can make a huge impact.
“I think we can be very dominant,” he said. “We have to start working together. I’ve been a fan of Andre’s game for a long, long time. When he first came in, you could see just how talented he was, just raw talent. And then watching the maturation over the course of his career has been awesome. Getting to post moves and being able to finish in different ways. He has way more skill than I think he probably gets credit for. I’m not sure what people think of him over here — I know they love him, but I know he’s a better player than I think people even realize, and they know he’s a good player.”
As for team leadership, owner Tom Gores said he was surprised the deal even got done, and believes Blake is the missing piece they needed.
“Honestly, it’s shocking that we even have him right now,” Gores said during a conference call. “I think we need the level of a Blake. You see it around the league. And as much as I think Stan and we do a good job piecing things together players and giving their roles, you’re probably going to need a couple folks like [Griffin], is my opinion. Now we didn’t go searching with that philosophy necessarily but it did come to us in that we just couldn’t not look at a guy like Blake who could really change your franchise … you see it in the league. It’s not even my opinion, in the league, the elite teams have a few Blake’s.”