Thursday, 23 May 2024

Player Movement – Blake Griffin and the Business of Basketball

If you’re a sports fan, you’ve probably heard the news: Blake Griffin has been traded to the Detroit Pistons, despite a seemingly mutual desire for him to remain a Clipper. Last summer, during the free agency period, both Griffin and the Los Angeles Clippers expressed their commitment to staying together.

Griffin faced a difficult decision when he met with the Clippers. They honored him by raising his jersey into the rafters at the Staples Center and discussing his lasting legacy as the greatest Clipper. Convinced and bought in, Griffin signed a 5-year, $173 million contract.

Fast forward seven months, and Griffin is now headed to the Detroit Pistons while the Clippers look to rebuild. The Clips were hovering around the 9th position in the Western Conference with no real hopes of contending. Griffin’s health has been a concern for some time, and although he has been in MVP discussions before, his injuries limited his impact on the court.

The decision to trade Griffin signifies the Clippers’ commitment to building for the future. With promising draft prospects over the next few years, it’s clear why they made this move. They chose to move away from a strategy that wasn’t working and focus on long-term success.

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This trade also serves as a reminder that basketball, especially at the professional level, is ultimately a business. Loyalty may not always be valued in every organization. When contracts expire or free agency approaches, players should prioritize what is best for themselves, their families, and their careers. The business of basketball doesn’t guarantee generosity.

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