We may have seen the last of this NBA All-Star and Boston Celtic.
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Celtics president of basketball operations Brad Stevens told The Boston Globe’s Gary Washburn that Blake Griffin is considering retirement. Stevens said that he was interested in bringing Griffin, who is currently a free agent, back for another year, but the center is unsure of his future.
In his first and only season with the Celtics, Griffin averaged 4.1 points on 48.5% shooting from the field and 34.8% from the 3-point line. He played in 41 games last season and saw the floor an average of 13.9 minutes in those games.
If that was his last season, Griffin will say goodbye to a very accomplished NBA career. He became the 45th player ever (as well as the most recent) to make an NBA All-Star game in his rookie season in 2011, the year he won Rookie of the Year. Griffin has since made five more All-Star Games and five total All-NBA appearances before injuries caught up to him and inhibited his production later in his career.
Even if he was no longer in his prime, Stevens wanted Griffin in Boston last year. He told Washburn how he made multiple attempts to convince Griffin to become a Celtic, and that Griffin agreed after initially refusing.
“I told him, ‘We’d love to have you join us, but you may not play when Robert [Williams] gets back [from injury],’ Stevens said to those who attended ABCD Hoop Dreams, per Washburn. “He said no. So I went through a few more days, called him back, and said, ‘Hey, I don’t mean to burden you. I know you’ve got kids. I know you’ve said no initially, but I just wanted to circle back before I turn to other people because you’re the best fit for our team.’ He said, ‘I thought about it and I want to do it.”
By the year’s end, Griffin had become an important locker room presence and a friend to all of his teammates. Stevens said that everyone involved with the Celtics loved Griffin, and that despite how good of a player he was, he was most impactful when he interacted with others.
“I’m not blowing smoke, it was as good as it gets,” Stevens said. “He was unbelievable when he played and even better when he didn’t.”
Griffin will leave a strong legacy as an impactful player on and off the court if he chooses to retire. But if he ever decides he wants to come back to Boston, Stevens will certainly take him up on his offer.
“He has a fan for life from everybody in our organization,” Stevens said. “You know, if he decides to keep playing, he wants to come back out East, he knows we’re a phone call away.”
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