Blake Griffin retires: 6x All-Star was one of NBA’s top dunkers

Veteran NBA forward Blake Griffin announced his retirement from professional basketball Tuesday.

“I never envisioned myself as the guy who would have a ‘letter to basketball’ retirement announcement … and I’m still not going to be that guy,” Griffin posted on Instagram. “But as I reflected on my career, the one feeling I kept coming back to and the thing I wanted to express was thankfulness.

“I’m thankful for every single moment – not just the good ones: the wins, the awards, the dunks and the memorable time spent with family, friends, fans, teammates, and coaches.”

Griffin also acknowledged his parents, Tommy and Gail, and his brother, Taylor ‘for their unconditional support and guidance.’

Griffin spent 13 seasons in the NBA with the Los Angeles Clippers, Detroit Pistons, Brooklyn Nets and Boston Celtics. He averaged 19.0 points, 8.0 rebounds and 4.0 assists and shot 49.3% from the field. He was a six-time All-Star, five-time All-NBA selection and 2010-11 Rookie of the Year. His final season was in 2022-23 with Boston.

A star at Oklahoma, Griffin was the 2008-09 college player of the year, averaging 22.7 points and 14.4 rebounds, and left for the NBA after two seasons with the Sooners. He was the No. 1 overall pick by the Clippers in the 2009 draft but missed the 2009-10 season with a knee injury.

Injuries were a significant part of Griffin’s career. He had five seasons with fewer than 35 games played, and Griffin gave a nod in that direction. “I am equally thankful for the not-so-good moments: the losses, the injuries, the wayyyy too many surgeries, the lessons, the heartbreaks, and it wouldn’t be (a) sports retirement letter without acknowledging the ‘haters.’ ”

In his prime, Griffin was among the league’s best power forwards. He averaged a double-double in points and rebounds twice in his career, including 22.5 points and 12.1 rebounds in 2010-11 and posted a career-high 24.5 points per game with the Pistons in 2018-19.

He was also a powerful and emphatic dunker – both in games and in the dunk contest. He won the event in 2011, jumping over the hood of a car while catching an alley-oop pass from Baron Davis who was poking through the sunroof of the car.

Follow NBA reporter Jeff Zillgitt on social media @JeffZillgitt

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