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Blake Griffin retires after 14-year career in NBA

Blake Griffin announced his retirement Tuesday after a 14-year career that included six All-Star selections, Rookie of the Year honors and a dunk contest victory.

Griffin said in a social media post that he's "thankful for every single moment" of his career. He was the No. 1 overall pick by the Los Angeles Clippers out of Oklahoma in 2009. He missed his first season with a knee injury, but rebounded to earn Rookie of the Year honors in 2011, when he won the All-Star Game dunk contest.

Alongside Chris Paul and DeAndre Jordan, Griffin's high-flying plays rejuvenated the Clippers franchise and earned it the nickname "Lob City." He was traded to the Detroit Pistons during the 2018 season as his ability to soar dwindled and injuries piled up.

Griffin was able to reinvent his game in Detroit with a reliable 3-point shot and was selected for his sixth All-Star Game in the 2018-19 season. He averaged 24.5 points and 7.5 rebounds that season.

Griffin, 35, also had stints in Brooklyn and Boston. He did not play in the 2023-24 season, but members of the Celtics held out hope that he would rejoin the team at some point.

"Great teammate. Everyone here, we love Blake," veteran Al Horford said after Celtics practice on Tuesday. "There was a long hope that maybe he was going to be around in some way. Just a lot of good memories with him. The year he was here, he made it enjoyable for me. It was fun coming into work with him every day, getting to talk to him and getting to know him. Just a great guy."

Joe Mazzullla coached Griffin in his first year as an NBA head coach, and wasn't sure what it would be like to coach a former No. 1 pick toward the end of his career. But Griffin was the ultimate professional, and Mazzulla is grateful he got to coach him.

"I grew to have a love and respect for him when we decided to kind of go away from him, and he came in and pulled me aside and asked what he could do to get back and get better," explained Mazzulla. "For a guy of his stature, his resume of his success and longevity, to come to a first-time coach and ask that said a lot about who he was.

"That was a moment I'll never forget and I'm really grateful I got to be around him," added Mazzulla.

Horford wants to see Griffin take his place in Springfield in the near future.

"Definitely a Hall of Fame player with everything he accomplished," said Horford. "He had an unbelievable career."

Griffin averaged 19.0 points and 8.0 rebounds in his career. He finished third in MVP voting behind Kevin Durant and LeBron James in the 2013-14 season.

"I'm thankful for every single moment — not just the good ones: the wins, the awards, the dunks, and the memorable times spent with family, friends, fans, teammates and coaches," Griffin said in his Instagram post, thanking his family and agent, Sam Goldfeder. "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 sports retirement letter without acknowledging the 'haters.'

"All of these experiences made my 14 years in the league truly unforgettable, and I can't help but just feel thankful."



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