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Clippers after deadline: Griffin's dazzling dunk

October 18, 2009 | 11:19 pm

The Clippers were like excited kids who just came off the playground and had seen something incredible.

"His nickname is Amazin'," DeAndre Jordan said. "His new nickname is Amazin'."

Jordan shouted over to teammate Sebastian Telfair, saying: "Bassy! Bassy! Amazin', right?"

Telfair: "Amazin'."

They were reacting to Clippers rookie Blake Griffin's spectacular flying dunk over Lakers center DJ Mbenga in the fourth quarter on Sunday at Staples Center. The praise was flying fast in the locker room.

Jordan made sure to clarify the nickname: "No G at the end."

Blakegriffin_300And then Jordan hummed the theme to ESPN's SportsCenter, and said, "Amazin' or that."

Someone asked Griffin if he was cool with the new nickname. "He doesn't have a choice," Marcus Camby said, jumping in before Griffin could respond.

Griffin, who had 13 points and 12 rebounds in the loss to the Lakers, was his typical understated self.

"It was a good pass, I just tried to go up and finish," Griffin said. "I don't keep track of a personal highlight film. Something like that was fun. Still gotta get better."

Said Clippers Coach Mike Dunleavy: "Pretty spectacular. You know it's good when the Lakers bench reacts to it."

And, speaking of the Lakers, the kudos for Griffin came rolling in.

"He looks like he's really an active player, good athlete, runs the court well," Lakers Coach Phil Jackson said. "You can see his improvement level's got a ways to go here as he adjusts to the game, but I think that's going to happen quickly. He made an outstanding dunk over DJ."

It was the first time Kobe Bryant had seen Griffin play, up close and personal. "He is very athletic, very athletic," Bryant said. "He handles the basketball well and has tremendous upside. ... It looks like he's got a world of talent."

And there's more to come. Just ask Telfair.

"Just showing everybody what he's going to be doing all season," Telfair said. "That's his nickname. Amazin'. That's what we gave him, the first day he walked in."

-- Lisa Dillman

Photo: Clippers rookie forward Blake Griffin goes up for a dunk over 7-foot center DJ Mbenga of the Lakers in an exhibition game Sunday night. Credit: Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press
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