Blake Griffin Drops Truth Bomb on Celtics’ Atmosphere

Blake Griffin, Grant Williams

Getty Blake Griffin #2 of the Brooklyn Nets is fouled by Grant Williams #12 of the Boston Celtics.

The Boston Celtics made the Blake Griffin signing official on October 3. While Griffin had been seen around the TD Garden wearing Celtics attire while being welcomed by Jaylen Brown before their first preseason game on October 2, Griffin was not eligible to play because the team had not yet made the signing official, but they have now.

Griffin participated in his first practice with his new teammates after being officially introduced as a Celtic. When asked about what it was like on his first day as a Celtic, Griffin praised the team’s atmosphere because of how different it is from his previous teams.

“The amount of maturity and welcoming-ness. It’s a different atmosphere that I’m sort of used to, in a good way. Everybody, one through 15, in practice was focused, very encouraging, and helpful. You don’t take that for granted because it’s not always the case everywhere you go,” Griffin said.

Over the course of his 12-year NBA career, Griffin has played for multiple NBA teams expected to compete for a championship, which includes his years with the Los Angeles Clippers and Brooklyn Nets, but he has not made it past the second round of the NBA Playoffs.

Griffin Was Previously Warned to Stay Away From Celtics

When Griffin was bought out by the Detroit Pistons during the 2020-21 season, Griffin weighed his options before deciding to join the Nets. According to Jared Weiss of The Athletic, Griffin had asked a Celtics player about joining the team but was told to stay away.

“According to a source, Brooklyn’s Blake Griffin asked a Celtics player if he should join the team midseason and was told not to come to Boston because of the apparent dysfunction.”

Though there’s been plenty of speculation, it’s never been confirmed which player told Griffin to do that, but with the overhaul that the Celtics have gone through since then, it’s likely that the player no longer plays for the Celtics. It also goes to demonstrate that a lot has changed culture-wise for the Celtics in the past year and a half.

Not only has Griffin joined the team since then, but he’s seen for himself that whatever supposed dysfunction that was present last year is no longer there now.

Griffin’s New Number

Griffin will wear the number 91 for the Celtics, which is the first time in franchise history a player has worn that number. Griffin said that it’s in tribute to Dennis Rodman, who wore the same number when he helped the Chicago Bulls win three championships from 1996 to 1998.

Although Griffin is the first Celtic to wear the no. 91, he is among the several Celtics over the past decade who have worn a 90s number. Dating back to the 2012-13 season, the following Celtics players have worn a number from 90 to 99, according to Basketball-Reference.

90: Amir Johnson (2015-17)
94: Evan Fournier (2021)
97: Brodric Thomas (2021-22)
98: Jason Collins (2012-13)
99: Darko Millicic (2012), Jae Crowder (2015-2017), Tacko Fall (2019-21)

The only other players to wear jersey numbers 90 or above besides the above players are Roy Rogers, who wore no. 99 in 1998, and PJ Brown, who wore no. 93 for the Celtics in 2008.