GQ’s October issue features a Blake Griffin Q&A with magazine staff writer extraordinaire Zach Baron. If you’re under the gun at work or your significant other is particularly peeved by your lack of help around the house, then stick around and check out some excerpts below. But the rest of you I implore to read the astoundingly candid and wide-ranging interview.
Though Griffin had copious opportunity to really lay into his former boss, he doesn’t really go medieval the way you’d hope. There’s clearly a disgust for Sterling, but it’s a dignified, reasoned disgust — not the sort of indignation one would expect from the man largely responsible for neutralizing the Clippers curse.
Griffin admits that he didn’t really want to “make a statement” in the immediate aftermath of the racist audio recording’s release. He was part of the group that thought the solution was to focus on basketball. Even when someone relayed to him the inside-out warm-ups scheme in the locker room, he initially thought he was being set up for a practical joke.
From this section of the interview, the upshot isn’t really said what Blake said about Donald T. Sterling, but what he didn’t say — the conspicuous absence of any real vitriol.
But the Q&A extends well beyond the Sterling debacle. Griffin lends his thoughts on The Decision 2.0, his plans for life after basketball and the backlash against his public endorsement of Creationism, all with his signature down-to-earth demeanor. Perhaps that’ll change with the new Clippers owner, who appears not to share Griffin’s capacity for understatement.
What was your [first] impression of [Sterling]?
The second time I met him… He throws a white party in Malibu every single year, so everyone has to wear white or you can’t come. I get there, and this dude is wearing all black. The only person at this party. He throws a white party, he wears all black. And as soon as I get there, he comes to the front, we talk for a second, and he’s like, “Come on, I want to introduce you to everyone.” Grabs my hand and starts walking me through the party while we’re holding hands, and just introduces me to everybody.
Who’s the favorite next year?
I feel like you gotta say the Spurs. Just because, year after year, they never go away. They’re like the model of success when it comes to building an NBA team. Tim Duncan is another perfect example of a guy who’s over the years lost athleticism but stayed right there at the highest level, because of his work ethic and the way he goes about it. So you can never count them out.
Why do people seem to get into it with you so much on the court?
I like to play physical, and I’m a big guy, and I think sometimes—maybe sometimes I am pushing somebody and I don’t realize how hard I’m pushing them. And then they do it back, and it’s kind of like, “Jeez!” You know what I mean? It looks worse because it’s kind of almost like their reaction to me. And then at the same time, sometimes I’m like, okay, maybe it’s just because I’m big and I play physical.
What was it that Klay Thompson said before the playoff series? That you were a “bull in a china shop”?
Bull in a china shop, yeah. But the thing about that is, it depends on who you are. If you’re the bull, being a bull in a china shop is not a bad thing. If you’re the china, it’s a bad thing. So I want to be the bull. I don’t want to be the china.
Charles Barkley seems to have an issue with you.
Yeah. I mean, I thought we were cool, and then all of a sudden… I think the whole former-player thing, where they come and they’re now analysts, it’s hard, because they don’t want to give it up to anybody. Unless they really, really have to. Or you have a relationship with them. And I never really had a relationship with him. To this day, I don’t think I’ve even met him.
He’s been a constant critic of yours. He’s called you out for flopping and suggested that you’re overrated.
Yeah, it’s been a long time. I’m not a big fan. [laughs] It’s hard. As a kid, I was a huge fan. And then, after so many times of hearing somebody say something negative about you, then it’s like, okay, this is like a thing—it’s a personal thing. You know what I mean? It’s like the saying “Don’t meet your heroes.” I haven’t met him, but I don’t really need to anymore. Which is unfortunate.