Blake Griffin was one of the faces of the Detroit Pistons since his acquisition in January of 2018 from the Los Angeles Clippers, and put together arguably his finest career campaign in 2018-19 and helped the team to a playoff spot.
Earlier in the month, the Pistons and Griffin agreed to a contractual buyout, making him an unrestricted free-agent.
Griffin soon found himself a new home, inking a deal with the contending Brooklyn Nets. He's now teamed up with the likes of Kyrie Irving, James Harden and Kevin Durant in hopes of winning his first career title.
Griffin made his return to Little Caesars Arena last night with Brooklyn, and immediately received a nice ovation from the limited fans in attendance.
And then, it was down to business.
He'd score 17 points, including a few dunks that later included some chirps directed at his former teammates. There were even a few physical confrontations with Isaiah Stewart and Saddiq Bey, during which the former was baited into a flagrant-2 foul and ejection.
“They’re a hard-playing team,” Griffin said after the game. “I don’t know if you expect to get elbowed, but I knew it was going to be chippy and we were going to play hard. That stuff doesn’t bother me, it’s part of the game.”
Brooklyn would ultimately hold on for a 113-111 win.
However, Griffin did warmly greet his former teammates following the game, and had good things to say about the Pistons and Detroit.
“It was great,” he said of his return to Detroit. “There’s a lot of people over on the other side that I have a lot of respect for and I have a close relationship with. It’s always great to see them. My focus is moving forward and winning games and all we’re supposed to do. It was good to see them, but better to come in here and get a win and get out.”
– – Quotes via Omari Sankofa II of The Detroit Free Press Link – –