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Clippers' Blake Griffin expects rookie duties to increase upon his return

October 6, 2009 |  6:14 pm

It may be small and it may attract undue attention. But Clippers forward Blake Griffin proudly wears a pink Dora the Explorer backpack to carry around teammates' sweat bands and socks as part of his rookie initiation.

Fabforum "It's mine now," Griffin said of the backpack, which was originally purchased by Clippers forward Brian Skinner for the team's No. 1 draft pick. "Everybody likes it."

Now that Griffin is fully healed from a sore left knee, will participate in contact drills Thursday and is expected to play in the Clippers' home exhibition game Friday against the Portland Trail Blazers, he expects the rookie duties to increase.

"We were talking about buying Krispy Kremes today," Griffin said.

How many boxes will he have to buy? After all, this doesn't bode well for a team who's pledged to improve its conditioning this season.

"Hopefully not much," he said, smiling.

Griffin may be a self-professed gym rat. But underneath his blue collar and hard-nosed attitude is a player with a great sense of humor. After all, he joked to The Times' Lisa Dillman that "I'm kind of a loser" for his obsession with working out and going to bed early.

He's handled his rookie initiation the same way.

"He’s been a good sport about it," Clippers shooting guard Rasual Butler said about Griffin. "He’s a great kid. He’s going to have an awesome year."

That is why Butler says people shouldn't expect many outlandish tasks for him to do.

"He is the No. 1 draft pick," Butler said. "You can’t do too much to him."

--Mark Medina

Photo: Dora the Explorer and Boots the Monkey. Credit: Nickelodeon.