Blake Griffin is a five-time all-star and a human highlight-reel of entertainment.
No, seriously. Huh?
The 76ers are mentioned as a possible suitor for Los Angeles Clippers big man Blake Griffin ... and most basketball fans in Philly, as well the geniuses who provide insightful, if not incite-ful, commentary about that, are against the move? Rather dismissively so?
Or, better yet, what the eff is going on here? Yo, basketball town my arse ...
Holy cow. Has it really come to this, that we're so beholden to our strictly provincial little inner sanctum of thoughts and propaganda that we cannot possibly stretch our mental synapsis to recognize anything of quality outside the city limits ... quality, in fact, that is far greater than any residing within them?
Not for nothing, people, but please stop viewing ill-informed, limited-scope lunkheads like Mikey Miss as your go-to peeps on hoops knowledge when they clearly don't know anything about a player, his game or even his height, especially when one of those self-anointed experts is trying to impart such wisdom as to suggest that Griffin isn't a factor around the rim and that he really doesn't have a set style, that he's just so darn hard to get a read on as a player.
Ummm ... Uhhh ... Huh?
For starters, as an FYI for M2 and his minions, Griffin ain't 6-8, he's 6-10 and has been among the most elite of the NBA's high flyers ever since stepping on a pro court. He's not the second coming of Shawn Kemp. He's much, much better.
While both rank among the game's most explosive, athletic and powerful big men of all time, Griffin can excel away from the paint, even as a distributor, and often does. Kemp never did, and, truth be told, he was never as good in the paint as Griffin anyway.
The chiseled, 6-foot-10, 251-pounder was the first pick in the 2009 draft following a sophomore season at the University of Oklahoma that saw him earn consensus national player of the year honors. Yeah, it's true his initial foray into the NBA was delayed a year after he broke his left kneecap in a preseason game, but in 2010-11 he won NBA Rookie of the Year while averaging 22.5 points and 12.7 rebounds per game.
Keep in mind, that was pre-Chris Paul in LA.
Frankly, Sixers fans ought to be peeing their pants just at the mere mention their club has the cojones to seek out a talent such as Griffin, never mind actually pull off a deal to get him. The guy has been a five-time all-star, a four-time All-NBA selection and currently has career averages of 21.6 points, 9.6 rebounds and 4.0 assists while serving as a human-highlight reel of slam dunks and, let's face it, superb commercials.
It also is no small coincidence that the previously woebegone Clippers have become playoff regulars since Griffin joined them or the fact that they have severely weakened the Lakers' stronghold on the LA fan base.
But we're worried about breaking up the frontcourt mix of Nerlens Noel and Jahlil Okafor being unable to coexist on the floor together with Joel Embiid resting his feet another year, and the overall chemistry of a team that resides alone in the NBA basement at 7-43.
Yeah, heaven forbid the Sixers tamper with that ...
Oh, what's that, we gotta make room for the immortal Dario Saric coming over from Turkey and we're holding out hope of getting Louisiana State's Ben Simmons with the first pick of this summer's NBA Draft?
How nice, and when Simmons actually reaches the level of player that Griffin has been dating back to his days with the Sooners get back to me on that.
Reality is, we're talking about a Hall of Fame player in Griffin who is still in his prime at age 26 and we're turning up our noses at the idea of acquiring him. Something is seriously wrong with that.
No huhs about it.
- Jack Kerwin | firstname.lastname@example.org
A CAVEAT OR 3
So he ain’t perfect.
Even the best acquisitions come with a price, or bring with them some baggage, and Blake Griffin would be no different if the 76ers were able to get him from the Los Angeles Clippers.
An elite athlete doesn’t necessarily mean an injury-free athlete, as Griffin’s body has endured a few setbacks, costing him a season in the NBA before he even started his official Rookie of the Year campaign. He also was out for a bit earlier this season.
Both of those reasons were playing-related, the former being a broken kneecap and the latter a torn quadriceps. The former he recovered from quite nicely, becoming a five-time all-star and four-time All-NBA performer ever since the 2010-11 season tipped off.
The latter? Well, he was ready to roll once again before experiencing brain loss and punching a team staffer, thus resulting in a broken hand, not to mention two surgeries due to it, and further delay in return to action.
His lack of common sense and emotional control right there could be legit cause for concern, but, you know, we can raise you a few bar hopping-induced street fights by a minor and one early-morning 100 mph-plus joyride across the Ben Franklin Bridge.
Atta guy, Jahlil Okafor.
All kidding aside, yeah, sure, trading for Griffin would be taking a chance. But it’s a chance to get much better with a much better player than anyone on the current roster.
A caveat or three be damned. Here’s one vote for the Sixers to proceed without impunity.
BLAKE BY NUMBERS
Career scoring average
Career rebounding average
Seasons at Oklahoma
National college player of the year seasons