Clippers: Blake Griffin's return to Oklahoma City
Griffin met with the media after the Clippers’ morning shootaround and looked just as tired as he did after Sunday’s All-Star game and sound as if he was suffering from a bad cold, sniffling through the five-minute interview session.
This will be his first game back on home soil in a couple of years. He thought he might acknowledge the crowd with a wave and joked that he hoped he didn’t get booed.
“The arena is a little bigger. It’s exciting,” Griffin said. “I was thinking about the last time I played here was probably almost two years ago. It’s exciting to be back, and I’m going to treat it just like a normal game and try to do the exact same things.
“It’s definitely going to be special being back and being in front of people I know, and people I love.”
Griffin flew to Oklahoma City right after the All-Star game and was one of the pallbearers at the funeral of his close friend Wilson Holloway on Monday afternoon.
This came after what has been a frantic schedule leading into the All-Star weekend and even well beforehand.
“This past two, three, four months has been a whirlwind," Griffin said. "I haven’t even had time to think about it, to be honest. You’re just going from one thing to the next with the All-Star weekend and [no] time to sit down and think about this game.”
Is it almost better than way?
“Yeah, definitely, man,” Griffin said. “If you stay busy, not sitting around thinking about things … sometimes you over-analyze things, sometimes you over-think things and you get yourself too hyped up. I don’t think that’s the case so far.”
He was asked whether he had to buy a lot of tickets for this special game.
“Yeah, I had to buy a few,” Griffin said. “I’ve probably got well over 20 people coming, which isn’t that bad. For the most part, a lot of people I knew bought tickets already. I didn’t have to do too much.”
The dunk contest, which he won Saturday, remained a focal point of interest. Griffin dunked over a car and addressed the obvious point, that the Clippers were slightly unsettled before they watched him do it in practice.
“They didn’t say anything, but I could tell they were a little nervous about it,” Griffin said. “But when I did the rehearsal for the dunk they were all standing there. So I jumped over it, dunked it and kind of looked look at them: ‘Happy?’ I guess they knew I could do it, so they were good by the time the contest rolled around.”
Said Clippers’ Coach Vinny Del Negro: “I was more concerned if it was a truck or something. Cars are pretty easy for Blake. If it was a Hummer or 18-wheeler, I’d have been more concerned. Hoods of cars, that’s not a problem for Blake.”
-- Lisa Dillman in Oklahoma City
Photo: Blake Griffin. Credit: Alberto E. Rodriguez / Getty Images.