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Clippers: Blake Griffin's return to Oklahoma City

February 22, 2011 | 11:20 am

Blake_240 Before turning our attention back to all trade rumors …there was the small matter of Blake Griffin’s Oklahoma City homecoming Tuesday.

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.