LOS ANGELES (AFP) – Blake Griffin bid farewell to the only NBA team he has ever known on Tuesday and readied himself to lead the sagging Detroit Pistons into the playoffs.
The five-time NBA All-Star power forward was traded from the Los Angeles Clippers to the Pistons on Monday night in a deal that also sent Willie Reed and Brice Johnson to Detroit for Avery Bradley, Tobias Harris, Serbian big man Boban Marjanovic and future first- and second-round NBA Draft choices.
‘‘Needed a night to digest and reflect on what happened,’’ The 28-year-old said on Twitter on Tuesday. ‘‘I am so proud to have been part of the success of the Clippers organization.
‘‘Now I’m ready for the next chapter, getting to work and helping the Detroit Pistons make a run in the Eastern Conference.’’
Griffin was the 2011 NBA Rookie of the Year and spent eight seasons in all with the Clippers, where he averaged 21.6 points, 9.3 rebounds and 4.2 assists in 35.1 minutes in 504 games, and made the playoffs for six straight years between 2011-2017.
Injury-plagued Griffin was the 2009 first overall draft pick but missed the 2009-10 season with a broken left kneecap, and he has also suffered back spasms, a torn left quad, a broken hand, a staph infection, knee surgery, a broken toe, a sprained left MCL and a concussion.
‘‘A guy became available who is a great player and we took the opportunity to get him,’’ said Stan Van Gundy, the Pistons’ coach and president of basketball operations.