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Scott Howard-Cooper

Blake Griffin had eight points, five rebounds and five assists in 15 minutes of his All-Star Game debut Sunday.
Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE/Getty Images

Busy All-Star weekend finally catches up with Griffin

Posted Feb 21 2011 1:44AM

LOS ANGELES -- Blake Griffin sat on the elevated platform at the front of the interview room, drumming the fingers of his left hand on the table while scanning his brain for an answer.

"The last time I was this tired ..." he said, repeating the query.

Griffin paused for a couple seconds.

"Man," he picked up again, "it's a good question. I have no idea. Probably training camp."

Jumping over the hood of a sedan in the Dunk Contest is one thing, but clearing the real canyon leap of a starring role in All-Star weekend in his own town is quite another. The Clippers power forward played in the T-Mobile Rookie Challenge on Friday, won the Sprite Slam Dunk Contest on Saturday and had eight points, five rebounds and five assists in 15 minutes Sunday to help the West beat the East 148-143 at Staples Center.

Finding a new level of prominence with each week would be great news for the Clippers if it weren't also becoming a growing concern. The ability of the mild-mannered Griffin to handle a sudden thrust into the NBA spotlight had long been a storyline to track, the way he was being pulled in every direction while cruising to Rookie of the Year and bringing immeasurable new hope to a franchise that could use some, and now the answer is becoming clear.

The notoriety is taking a toll on Griffin and he still has another major moment ahead, the Tuesday game at Oklahoma City in his first pro appearance in his hometown. His fatigue Sunday may have been the culmination of the frenzied weekend, but that's only the latest moment. There has rarely been a chance to rest at any point on the calendar.

"Oh, man, I can barely move right now," he admitted from the head table. "I'm pretty tired. But it was great getting that win, and I had fun this weekend. No doubt it was fun and it was a good experience."

Scott Howard-Cooper has covered the NBA since 1988. You can e-mail him here and follow him on twitter.

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