With all the athletic superlatives being thrown Blake Griffin’s way since his explosive Summer League debut in July, it’s easy to miss what he represents most profoundly to fans of the Los Angeles Clippers. For everything they’ve heard about Griffin’s athleticism, his ability to prowl the paint, and his capacity to pick up things like NBA defenses and an outside stroke in an instant, his allure has never been about those attributes.
To the Clipper faithful, Griffin personifies the deeper idea that change can occur instantly…
… Griffin’s performance in his first Summer League game on July 13 suggested that his impact would be felt immediately. Playing the inside-out game to perfection with budding second-year star Eric Gordon, Griffin gave Clippers fans a glimpse of a brilliant future. After the front office bolstered the bench with a series of smart acquisitions and the banged-up veterans got clean bills of health, that future appeared even closer.
Meanwhile, the more Clippers fans learned about Griffin, they more they loved him. He was a workout fiend, a model son and incredibly coachable. Pure? Yeah, but not obnoxiously so — just check out his Twitter feed.
Speaking of which … want to know what Blake Griffin tweets at 7:31 a.m. the morning after a preseason game?
heading to the gym….. we played well last night but still got work to do…. time to get better.
Can you imagine what this public declaration of commitment means to a fan base that 15 months ago watched Elton Brand leave them at the altar after pledging his eternal devotion? It’s an intoxicant, and by the time Blake Griffin threw down his first alley-oop in the preseason, Clipper Nation was completely blitzed. Here was a kid wholly uninterested in the Clippers’ legacy of losing or silly superstitions. When asked by reporters if he was concerned about the franchise’s history, Griffin never took the bait. That stuff had nothing to do with basketball — and Blake Griffin was all about basketball…
… Nobody in the universe has a more inexhaustible supply of patience than Clippers fans, but the next month and a half just might run the tank dry.
Here’s something they should take solace in: The person most heartbroken by this development and most eager to see Blake Griffin on the floor winning basketball games is Blake Griffin.
When’s the last time they could say that about anyone in a Clippers uniform?