In an official statement on social media, Blake Griffin declared his formal retirement from basketball after reminiscing on his 13-year career. Griffin thanked his family and agency for their support, and expressed his thanks for being able to play basketball at the highest level.

Griffin declared: “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. But as I reflected on my career, the one feeling I kept coming back to and the one thing wanted to express was thankfulness.” 

Despite being selected first overall by the Los Angeles Clippers in the 2009 NBA Draft, Griffin’s rookie season was postponed because of a stress fracture he sustained in his knee during the team’s final preseason game. Griffin had an impact right away when he was well enough to play in the 2010–11 season, averaging 22.5 points, 12.1 rebounds, 3.8 assists, and 50.6% shooting from the field. In 2011, he was chosen an All-Star, becoming the first rookie to do so since Yao Ming in 2003. He also won Rookie of the Year.

Additionally, since Tim Duncan in 1998, he was the first rookie to be selected as a reserve for the All-Star team. Griffin triumphed in the Dunk Contest at the 2011 All-Star Weekend, showcasing his extraordinary athleticism throughout his entire career.

During his eight seasons with the Clippers, Griffin was named an All-Star five times, an All-NBA selection four times, and a member of the MVP voting top three once.

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He was the center of attention of the Clippers’ powerful “Lob City” lineups in the middle of the decade, which also included JJ Redick, Chris Paul, DeAndre Jordan, Jamal Crawford, and Chris Paul. Though they did not win a championship, those teams were always in the postseason, and it was undoubtedly one of the most memorable periods in Clippers basketball history.

Losing Griffin

“I am equally thankful for the not-so-good moments: the losses, the injuries, the way too many surgeries, the lessons, the heartbreaks, and it wouldn’t be 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,” Griffin expressed. 

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

Cover Photo: IG

Source: CBS

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