Brad Stevens Sings Blake Griffin’s Praises for Role With Celtics

Blake Griffin

Getty Blake Griffin

Boston Celtics President of Basketball Operations Brad Stevens singled out Blake Griffin for how he played his role with the Celtics during his August 29 appearance on WEEI’s “Jones & Mego.”

While talking about how thin the Celtics’ frontcourt was during the 2022-23 season, he praised Griffin for how well he did in his role while they were undermanned.

“Our bigs were pretty thin,” Stevens said. “When (Robert Williams III) was out at the start of the year, those guys that played in his place did an amazing job of keeping us afloat. Blake was as good as it gets both on and off the court.”

Because Williams did not play until December 16 and because the Celtics rested Al Horford on back-to-backs, Griffin was thrust into a bigger role. He started in 16 of the 41 games he appeared in with the Celtics. While Griffin no longer played at a star level as he did with the Los Angeles Clippers, his role as an emergency starter in the frontcourt proved to be useful. He started in wins against some of the league’s better teams, like the Philadelphia 76ers.

The Celtics won 10 of the 16 games he started in.

Blake Griffin Calls Time With Celtics ‘Unbelievable’

While talking with Dan Rappoport on “Fore Play Golf,” Griffin sang Boston’s praises, talking about how much he enjoyed playing with the team.

“Dude, Boston is unbelievable. Living in Boston, playing in Boston was, like, one of the best experiences. Dude, the fans are incredible. Having a team that is so championship-focused. One of the best parts (is) the players on that team are just like such a great group of guys,” Griffin said.

Griffin also singled out Jayson Tatum for how good of a teammate he is, given that he’s one of the league’s best players.

“A guy like Jayson Tatum, a legit superstar, and just like so humble. Talks to everybody on the team. Talks to the whole staff. He would go sit and have a conversation with whoever. He’s not only hanging out with like Marcus (Smart) or (Jaylen Brown).”

It’s clear that both the Celtics and Griffin enjoyed each other’s company. It remains to be seen if Griffin would be down to stick around for another year.

Blake Griffin’s Future With Celtics Remain Ambiguous: Report

Marc Stein reported on August 7 that the Celtics want to bring Griffin back for the 2023-24 season, but it’s unclear if the feeling is mutual.

“The Celtics, league sources say, have interest in re-signing Blake Griffin,” Stein wrote. “Less clear is Griffin’s stance, at 34, on returning to Boston for a 15th NBA season. Griffin signed with the Celtics in early October after training camp had already begun and appeared in just one playoff game after playing in 41 regular-season games.”

Griffin has remained on the market since free agency began. Though they added Kristaps Porzingis, the Celtics lost a good chunk of their frontcourt when they traded away Mike Muscala and Danilo Gallinari, then signed-and-traded Grant Williams to the Dallas Mavericks. Unlike the other options still on the market, Griffin’s appeal to the Celtics stems from his familiarity with the team.