As Detroit Pistons forward Blake Griffin closes in on his return to Staples Center to face his old team for the first time, Los Angeles Clippers head coach Doc Rivers believes Griffin should be among the first jerseys retired by the organization.
Rivers, who previously said the team should also honor DeAndre Jordan by retiring his number, believes the former teammates and key pieces of the iconic “Lob City” deserve the honor.
“Those two, I think they should go in the same day, I really do,” Rivers said, via The Los Angeles Times. “Blake was great for us, he really was. It didn’t end great because we traded him but at the end of the day, Blake and D.J. started the birth of the Clippers.”
Griffin spent nearly eight seasons with the Clippers after being drafted with the No. 1 pick in the 2009 NBA Draft. While injuries hampered him at times throughout his career, the star forward has the fifth-most assists (2,133), third-most rebounds (4,686) and second-most points (10,863) in franchise history.
The Clippers traded Griffin to Detroit in January 2018 and Clippers owner Steve Ballmer cited chemistry issues as part of the reason they traded the star big man.
It may take some times for the ill feelings to potentially heal, though a return to Staples Center on Saturday should open the door for the crowd to give Griffin a standing ovation. Given how much he meant to the Clippers during his tenure, it wouldn’t be a surprise if his jersey is retired one day.