Griffin Talks Work Ethic, Summer, Comedy On Redick’s Podcast
LOS ANGELES – J.J. Redick didn’t know Blake Griffin well before the two became teammates three seasons ago, but as Redick said on his podcast this week, it didn’t take long for him to see Griffin’s work ethic.
Griffin joined Redick as a guest on the guard’s “The Vertical Podcast,” during which Redick called Griffin one of the hardest working players he’s ever been around. For Griffin, much of that determination started with watching his parents and older brother growing up.
“My parents, I’ve always said, are two of the hardest working people I know,” Griffin said on the podcast. “My dad, I used to watch him get up at 7 a.m. and he taught and coached in high school, which is kind of a thankless job. So he’d be gone all day teaching, coaching, then come home and he had a second job.
“My parents had a small trophy company we ran out of the back of our house, so I’d watch him come home 8 o’clock at night, eat dinner really quick and then work until 2 o’clock in the morning every single day most of my childhood, just to provide for my brother and I and our family. My mom was the same way, tireless work ethic; my brother was the exact same way. When he started getting recruited, I watched him get serious about basketball. He’d go to the gym and spend four hours in there, and I just thought that’s what I was supposed to do.”
That work ethic has been especially important this summer for Griffin, as he works his way back from his quad procedure. While getting his leg healthy has been Griffin’s consistent and primary focus, the Clippers forward has also taken some time to give back and to pursue his passions.
Last week, Griffin returned to Oklahoma for his alma mater’s alumni game and provided the school’s athletics department its largest gift ever by a former Sooner basketball player, helping enhance the training facilities for the men’s and women’s basketball teams.
He’s also continued to explore his love for comedy, recently hosting “Midnight Surprise” at Montreal’s “Just For Laughs” festival. From that experience, to the upside of being an athlete in Los Angeles, to working his way back on the court, Griffin touched on plenty of topics on the podcast with Redick.
- On hosting stand-up: Griffin said his “Midnight Surprise” hosting experience was his first time writing 10 minutes of stand-up material he’d need to perform. “This was like my first real go at stand-up comedy, so it was a little nerve-racking,” Griffin said. “It was one of the most nerve-racking things that I’ve ever done.”
- On getting back on the court: Griffin didn’t take much time off this summer, saying his biggest focus was on his health and making sure he felt strong and ready to go. “I took a week off after I had surgery and then started rehab a week after that, and I’ve been going all the way through,” Griffin said. “I actually just got back from vacation, so I took a week off there, so basically two weeks (off) this whole summer. I kind of had in my mind, I’m just going to go all the way through. In my mind, I didn’t deserve a summer break.”
- On moving forward and breaking through: Redick said he thought talent-wise the Clippers had enough to get it done in the past, and it’s about being mentally strong enough to follow through and get where they want to go in the postseason. Griffin said teams also need some luck, and health has a lot to do with it.
“You have to be healthy,” Griffin said. “Guys have to be not just healthy like to where they can play or not, but healthy to play at 100 percent or close to 100 percent, because I don’t think anybody’s playing at 100 percent in the playoffs.”
If the Clippers can keep health on their side this time around, Griffin likes their chances.
“This year I think our team is built for that run and built for that type of success,” he said. “I’m excited.”