When Blake Griffin signed a five-year, $173 million deal with the Clippers this past summer, he likely thought he was tying himself to Los Angeles for the foreseeable future. Griffin had been loyal to L.A. ever since he became the No. 1 overall pick in the 2009 NBA Draft, and the Clippers, for almost a decade, had returned the favor.
And then suddenly, on Monday night, they sent him packing.
Griffin was traded to the Detroit Pistons as step 1 of a Clipper rebuild. Naturally, after nine years, the deal must have been difficult for Griffin to come to grips with. After he took one night to do just that, he took to Twitter Tuesday morning to post a short farewell message to Los Angeles:
“I am so proud to have been part of the success of the Clippers organization,” Griffin wrote. “LA has been my home since I started in the league and I will be forever grateful to the city for embracing me and supporting me.
“To the fans, you have been awesome every step of the way. Thank you for your years of support. Now I’m ready for the next chapter.”
The goodbye was Griffin’s second social media post since the trade. The first, which can be read in a variety of different ways, was this:
And with that, the Blake Griffin era in Detroit, and the post-Blake era in L.A., have begun.