By Jeff Pearlman
May 22, 2009

On June 27, 2009, Blake Griffin will hold his first press conference as a member of the Los Angeles Clippers. -- psychic as well as informative -- was there ...

"First, I want to thank everyone for coming out today. I really had no idea they ever made a McDonald's this big. It's pretty spectacular. I'd especially like to recognize the all-time Clippers greats who agreed to be here. It's an honor to stand in the presence of men like Elmore Spencer, Dwayne Schintzius, Lancaster Gordon, Kurt Nimphius and, of course, uh ... um ... that guy ... the fat dude ... uh, yeah. Him. [Someone whispers in Griffin's ear]. Oh, he just walked in to order a Big Mac. But, hey, good to see ya! Go Clips!

"I was told the Kandi Man was scheduled to attend, but that he's running a little late at the movie theater, what with G-Force opening today. Hey, no worries. I used to work as an usher myself back in Edmond. It ain't easy.

"Anyhow, I didn't know much about the Clippers before a few weeks ago, but I've quickly found out what they stand for. In a word: Class. Why, just yesterday evening, while flying out here for the press conference, I turned to the man sitting next to me in 26C and said, 'You're not gonna believe this, but the Los Angeles Clippers basketball team faxed me a voucher for an extra bag of pretzels.' Now, I'll admit, I was a little ticked to learn that AirTran doesn't actually have pretzels, but when life hands you sour apples, make cheese. My neighbor gladly shared his half-eaten granola bar.

"It'd sure be great if I could feel the circulation in my toes ...

"If you know anything about me, you know I'm about winning. That's exactly what I told Donald Sterling over breakfast this morning. We were sitting in the booth at Denny's, and he said, 'Blair, I have a challenge for you.' Well, I love challenges, but of course my name isn't Blair. But, hey, he's the owner. He said, 'Blair, did you know here at Denny's you get a free breakfast if it's your birthday?' Heck, I had no idea. 'Blair,' he said, 'why don't you tell Betty, our waitress, that today's your birthday ... just to see what happens. Just for fun.'

"So when Mr. Sterling went to the bathroom, I told Betty today was my birthday. She laughed at me and said, "Sweetie, Joe Wolf, Ken Norman, Lamond Murray, Terry Dehere and Randy Woods all said the exact same thing.' I apologized for lying, but Betty didn't mind. Turns out Mr. Sterling gives her comp tickets every year to the big Bucks game. When he returned to the table and saw the bill for $5.67, Mr. Sterling gave me a fantastic high-five. He gave me another one when I offered to pay.

"OK, I'm babbling. Any questions?"

Mark Medina, Los Angeles Times: "Blake, are you at all concerned about Baron Davis and Chris Kaman?"

Griffin: "Heck, no. Those are two awesome players, and I can't wait to line up beside them and ..."

Medina: "No. Are you concerned that Mr. Sterling, citing the rising cost of gasoline, just traded them to Oklahoma City?"

Griffin: "Well, Mr. Sterling is a shrewd businessman. I'm sure he got back high-qual ..."

Medina: "A second-round pick and a guided tour of the Centennial Rodeo Opry."

[Griffin is silent]

Ramona Shelburne, Los Angeles Daily News: "Blake, have you had the chance to speak with any Clippers players yet?"

Griffin: "Oh, yeah. They've been great. Eric Gordon called me a few days ago, and ..."

Shelburne: "He was dealt to the Knicks for Mouhamed Sene. Gas prices."

Griffin: "Al Thornton says ..."

Shelburne: "Traded. Gas prices."

[Joe Safety, the team's vice president of communications, steps to the microphone.]

Safety: "This might be a good time to announce that the Los Angeles Clippers have made several roster moves. Along with adding Blake Griffin and ridding ourselves of a handful of fringe role players, we are proud to announce the signings of forwards Taylor Coppenrath and Kevin Pittsnogle and guard Brian Pearl. We believe all three men ..."

Kevin Ding, Orange County Register: "Uh, didn't Brian Pearl play at Delaware in the early 1990s?"

Safety [ruffling his notes]: "I'll have to get back to you on that one."

Lisa Dillman, Los Angeles Times: "And who is Taylor Coppenrath?"

Safety: "He's a very good, ahem ... I'll get back to you on that one, too."

Griffin: "Any other questions for me?"

Dave Gardetta, Los Angeles Magazine: "Blake, we've seen a lot of college phenoms join the Clippers, only to disappoint -- Reggie Williams and Danny Manning come to mind, as does Michael Olowokandi. How are you any different?"

Griffin: "More than anything, it's my demand."

Gardetta: "Your demand?"

Griffin: "Yes, my demand. I demand a trade."


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