Just imagine: It is the 2016–17 season. The Celtics are yet again in the midst of a trade deadline rumored to be in play for many premier stars, one of whom is Blake Griffin. The future leaders: Marcus Smart, rookie Jaylen Brown, and Duke’s Jayson Tatum are five years away from a summer of lost sleep via the heartbreak of a loss in the NBA Finals.
Coming back to begin the first quarter of the following season as one of the best shows the league has ever seen perform as the greatest offense in NBA history and the best shooting team that is forever excelling on both ends at an extraordinary 22-7. Tatum and Brown, at 24 and 26, are dominating the game as the league’s best duo and two of the NBA’s best players.
A common voice and viewpoint in the locker room? Written-off, six-time All-Star, and five-time All-NBA, 33-year-old Griffin. Draped in green, he wore No. 91 in honor of Dennis Rodman.
"“I think Boston’s kind of always been one of those places as an NBA player I feel like guys are like, ‘it’d be pretty cool to experience playing there,’ but beyond that, just the core they have. Having Brad in the front office now, the coaches they have, actually played against Joe when I was in college.” – Griffin on why he wanted to be a Celtic following his first practice with the team in October."
Blake Griffin: A Voice on and off the Court for the Boston Celtics
Griffin has been everything for the Boston Celtics could have asked for in his first two months with the organization after years of many visualizing him in a Celtic uniform. No matter the task he is requested, every time the team calls upon Blake, the old superstar has provided an answer to a tee. Everything the franchise had envisioned.
The Celtics’ forever-championship-winning standard, chemistry, and togetherness of Boston’s maturity instantly stood out to Griffin, especially after last season’s Finals loss.
"“The amount of maturity and like, welcomingness, they’re very, it’s like, a different atmosphere that I’m sort of used to, in a good way where they just are like, they’re very welcoming,” he said about the Celtics. “Everybody. One-through-15 or however many guys are here, practice today was very encouraging, helpful. I think you kind of take that for granted because that’s not always the case everywhere you go.”"
No secret that his role coming in was to provide depth and stability for the Celtics, especially with the aging Al Horford and Robert Williams returning from his knee surgery. Griffin, thus far, has primarily only played as a spot-in starter when Horford is unavailable or receives his planned night off during back-to-backs.