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Countdown to Clippers opener, Blake Griffin debut

October 27, 2010 |  3:07 pm

Griffin_300 Blake Griffin settled in to watch Miami-Boston on Tuesday night and quickly felt that holiday feeling.

It was beginning to look a lot like Christmas ... well, Christmas in October.

"Oh yeah, definitely," he said. "Last night, somebody texted me, 'This is like Christmas Eve for you, isn't it?' I was like, 'Exactly.'

"Last night, I started watching the game, I guess it started at 4:30. That's what I was doing all night. Last night was the longest night of my life."

Griffin was talking Wednesday after the Clippers' morning shootaround at their headquarters in Playa Vista, hours before his long-awaited NBA debut. The power forward missed all of last season because of a knee injury suffered in the team's final preseason game.

The Clippers will play Portland on Wednesday night at Staples Center, and it was almost like the clock sped up on Griffin in the last day or two.

"It's tough to describe," he said. "I can't believe it's already here. Looking back, it seemed like it was going to take forever. And seemed like it did take forever."

Forever was last season, watching his teammates from the sideline. Recalling that time, Griffin smiled, saying: "It was extremely tough. I'd like to call it basketball jail."

Freedom officially starts at 7:30 p.m.

"It's finally here," Griffin said.

-- Lisa Dillman

Photo: Blake Griffin. Credit: Kirby Lee / US Presswire