By: Dennis Rogers
Clippers.com sat down with All-Star forward Blake Griffin for an exclusive one-on-one this week. Griffin, who has been in Los Angeles the majority of the summer training, explains to us why this has been the best summer of his NBA career health-wise and what he is excited about for next season.
Q: Talk about how your summer has been?
BG: “This summer for me was great, being healthy all summer and really being able to dedicate the whole summer without rehabbing or any worry was really important.”
Q: What did you work on in your basketball game this summer?
BG: “On the court, I spent a lot of time with our shooting coach, Bob Thate, working on different things like face-ups out of the post. I worked on a lot of things I know I will be using this season in our offense. I still did a lot of work in the post and on ball handling. I also took my conditioning to another level to be in the best shape possible.”
Q: Is there one thing you got much better at in your basketball game?
BG: “I think catching and shooting off the dribble and also shooting out of the post. That along with working on my mid-range game are the things I feel I got better at. I incorporated a lot more three-point shots in my game, but that wasn’t my focus. My biggest focus was that mid-range game, the pick-and-pop shot and able to stretch the floor.”
Q: In terms of conditioning, you often worked out with DeAndre Jordan and former NBA player Sasha Vujacic. Talk about what kinds of things you all did to get in top conditional shape.
BG: “We mixed it up. We did a lot of beach workouts, running the sand dunes. Then we would do some boxing, swimming, track work and then regular gym workouts with the treadmill and weights. The great thing about doing that is, you aren’t always in the gym. It really helps with your mindset and your overall conditioning. We never did the same thing over and over. We kept it fresh.”
Q: Any good trips or personal things you were able to accomplish this summer?
BG: “I was able to get away on a couple trips this summer. I went to Europe and had a great time in France then went to Croatia. I took my family to Hawaii for Labor Day and had a great time with them.”
Q: This summer, there has been a lot of change for the Clippers organization. With Steve Ballmer coming on board as the owner of the Clippers, what are you most excited for and looking forward to from him.
BG: “It is exciting, his enthusiasm is unmatched. It is such a great thing to see, you can tell it is genuine. He is not doing it for a show or to get people fired up, it really is who he is. It is nice to know that he is so enthusiastic not only about basketball, but winning. Having that on our side is huge for us.”
Q: With the additions of Spencer Hawes, Epke Udoh and the re-signing of Glen Davis, this is arguably the deepest frontcourt of bigs that you have had at the Clippers. That has to be a great feeling for you and DJ.
BG: “It is a great feeling. Having those guys come off the bench and not have a drop off. Those guys can come in and do exactly what we need them to do. DeAndre Jordan has worked really hard this summer and he will really be ready to take on a bigger level and be ready to step up. Across the board when you look at our team, I think every single guy are great basketball players and people, that really helps us a team.”
Q: What are you most excited about for this upcoming season?
BG: “Honestly, just getting started. Every year, there is always so much speculation. Hearing that you have a chance to win it all, you can go far and don’t get me wrong, I am really excited about that. I am looking forward to get to training camp and figuring out our identity for this year’s team. Once you do that, you start to win a lot of games. Winning games propels us to the playoffs and that is where our mindset is, the playoffs.”