Blake Griffin gets over shock, glad to be with Detroit Pistons after surprising trade
By NOAH TRISTER
AP Sports Writer
AUBURN HILLS — Blake Griffin described his reaction when he found out he had been traded.
“Shocked is a good way to put it,” he said. “I didn’t know anything. I pretty much found out when everybody else found out. It just kind of took a second to realize, OK, like, everything’s changing.”
Griffin has arrived in Detroit now, and on Wednesday the Pistons introduced him and the two other players they received from the Los Angeles Clippers in the blockbuster deal earlier this week. Griffin, Brice Johnson and Willie Reed should be available to play Thursday night when Detroit hosts the Memphis Grizzlies, and that’s when the idea of Griffin in a different uniform will really become a reality.
The Pistons sent Tobias Harris, Avery Bradley, Boban Marjanovic and two draft picks to the Clippers. The trade came seven months after Griffin signed a $171 million, five-year contract to stay with Los Angeles — a fact that’s been duly noted. LeBron James described the deal as “unfortunate” — pointing out that players are described as disloyal for leaving teams, but franchises don’t necessarily face the same criticism when trading players who have stayed committed to them.
When asked if he regretted not having a no-trade clause, Griffin kept the focus on his future with his new team.
“I want to play for an organization that wants me to play there,” Griffin said. “This is where I want to be, and this is the place that wants me.”
Detroit is in its fourth season with Stan Van Gundy as coach and team president, and the Pistons — without Griffin and the newcomers — snapped an eight-game losing streak with a win Tuesday night over Cleveland. If the season ended now, they would not make the playoffs, but they’re within striking distance with plenty of time remaining.
An injury to point guard Reggie Jackson has been a big issue, and Van Gundy has cautioned against expecting any immediate surge after Griffin’s arrival. The trade was a risk because of Griffin’s big contract and his injury history, but owner Tom Gores indicated before Wednesday’s news conference that he understands it could take time for the deal to pay significant dividends.