Blake Griffin went to Donald Sterling parties during rookie season
Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin has had an interesting career, from being the No. 1 overall pick in the 2009 draft, to going through numerous injuries to being the top scoring option on a retooled teams following the free-agent departure of guard Chris Paul.
Griffin didn't play that initial rookie season because of a left knee injury and spent some of time going to parties as an invitation of then–owner Donald Sterling.
Those details and more are in a profile in this week's Sports Illustrated in an article written by Lee Jenkins.
“Some people were kind of normal,” Griffin tells Jenkins. “But still, whenever I run into somebody who says, ‘I met you at one of Sterling’s parties!’ I’m like, ‘Oh, there’s a red flag.’”
But then general manager Neil Olshey, who was promoted to general manager near the end of the 2009–2010 season put a quick end those invites.
“We’re not going to f--- this up and let this kid sign a qualifying offer and go to the Lakers,” staffers remember Olshey saying.
Sterling was banned for life from the NBA and fined $2.5 million after a recording surfaced in which Sterling was heard making racist remarks about Magic Johnson.
Sterling was eventually forced to sell the franchise, which was bought by former Microsoft executive Steve Ballmer for $2 billion.
Griffin, a five–time All-Star, is averaging 23.7 points and 8.4 rebounds for the Clippers this season.