Los Angeles Clippers owner Steve Ballmer tried to talk to Blake Griffin before Griffin’s return game to Los Angeles on Saturday, and it didn’t go so well. Ballmer hung out by the sidelines while Griffin finished his pre-game shooting routine, and once he was done, went in for a handshake.
But Griffin SPRINTED right past him.
It’s up for debate whether Blake’s mad dash to the locker room was intentional, or if it really was out of spite. Griffin hasn’t spoken much ill-will against his former employer, which blindsided him with a mid-season trade last season, so there’s no pubic beef that’s known. Griffin is a former stand-up comedian, so perhaps this could just be a big joke. Or, maybe he did just completely miss his former billionaire boss.
But reporters on the ground suggested Ballmer yelled Griffin’s name as he extended his hand for a handshake, only to be ignored. Griffin might not be over the Jan. 2018 trade that came six months after he signed a five-year, $171 million contract to stay in L.A. That signing followed an elaborate pitch from the Clippers that took Griffin through a maize at Staples Center, which ended with a simulation of what his jersey retirement would look like.
During the broadcast on Saturday afternoon, Clippers play-by-play announce Ralph Lawler said that Griffin even blew him off when the two teams played in Detroit after the trade last season.
All that promise from the franchise, only to ship him off to shed salary, had to burn for Griffin.
The Clippers played a tribute video for him, and Griffin waved to the crowd, but otherwise, he’s kept a stone face on throughout the game.
Nothing will be clear until somebody speaks.