Blake Griffin, Lob City legend, announces retirement from NBA

NEW ORLEANS, LA - JANUARY 28:  Blake Griffin #32 of the LA Clippers reacts during a game against the New Orleans Pelicans at the Smoothie King Center on January 28, 2018 in New Orleans, Louisiana. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)

The time has come for Blake Griffin. After 14 years in the NBA, he’s calling it quits. He published a post on X Tuesday that included just one word — “Fin,” which means “end” in French — and a graphic containing the words that would wrap up his NBA career.

“I never envisioned myself as the guy who would have a ‘letter to basketball’ retirement announcement… and I’m still not going to be that guy,” Griffin said on X, formerly known as Twitter. “But as I reflected on my career, the one feeling I kept coming back to and the one thing I wanted to express was thankfulness.

Griffin, 35, spent over half his career with the Los Angeles Clippers, but also spent three-plus years with the Detroit Pistons, two with the Brooklyn Nets, and a single season with the Boston Celtics. Griffin spent the 2023-2024 NBA season as a free agent.

Many of the replies to his retirement post recognized Griffin as a Lob City legend, thanks to the seven-plus seasons he spent with the Clippers from 2009 to 2018. Griffin, along with Chris Paul and DeAndre Jordan, were part of a Clippers renaissance that earned them the nickname Lob City for the style and swagger they showed off on the court. Griffin’s prodigious dunking skills is one reason the Clips went from laughingstock to can’t-miss TV.

But Griffin’s career was marred by injuries and surgeries, which he mentioned in his retirement post.

“I am equally thankful for the not-so-good moments: the losses, the injuries, the wayyyy too many surgeries, the lessons, the heartbreaks, and it wouldn’t be a sports retirement letter without acknowledging the ‘haters.’ All of these experiences made my 14 years in the league truly unforgettable, and I can’t help but to just feel thankful.”

In fact, Griffin’s professional career started with an injury. While he’s played in 13 NBA seasons, he had been in the NBA 14 seasons. After being drafted first overall by the Clippers in 2009, Griffin fractured his kneecap during the team’s final preseason game and ended up missing the entire 2009-2010 season. He was worth waiting for, though. He had a dynamite first season and won the Rookie of the Year award.

Despite the injuries and surgeries, Griffin was often sensational and continued to adapt, change, and grow wherever he went. He finishes his career averaging 19 points, 8 rebounds, and 4 assists per game, having made six trips to the All-Star Game and been named All-NBA five times.

“The game of basketball has given me so much in this life, and I wouldn’t change a thing” Griffin wrote to close out his post. “Last but certainly not least, here comes the obligatory ‘I’m excited for my next chapter’ part — just kidding, I’m done.”

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