Blake Griffin would be the first to tell you that last season was a disappointment for him. That was literally the first thing he said in his latest piece at the Players’ Tribune, which was something of an open letter to Clippers fans.
I’ll just get it out of the way.
Last season sucked.
I am truly sorry. What happened in Toronto was 100% my fault. I messed up.
There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t think about it. And I don’t mean that in some clichéd “not a day goes by” way.
I genuinely think about it every single day, and I just feel like I let down the fans who have been riding with us since the beginning.
He went on to discuss how much the perception of the team has changed over the course of his tenure.
It has been really cool to be part of a team that went from barely registering with people less than a decade ago to being one that people respect. We haven’t achieved our ultimate goal, but I hope we’ve changed the perception of the Clippers. At the very least, we’re worth hating now.
For a long time, I don’t think Lakers fans wanted to waste their energy on us. That’s definitely changed… These days, Lakers fans will boo us any chance they get.
Griffin also addressed perceptions that the Clippers were no longer anything more than also-rans.
We all know the narrative going into this season. Everyone’s like, “Oh, they lose in the playoffs every year. Same old Clippers.”
All I have to say to that is this: We’re the same core group that beat the defending-champion Spurs in seven games just 17 months ago. I know 17 months seems like forever, especially in NBA time, but we know how small the margins are between winning and losing, and how quickly the narratives around teams can change...
With that in mind, our team has kind of embraced the public perception of who we are. For lack of a better term, we’ve adopted the philosophy of: F— it. Let’s just go out and play basketball.
Although the Clippers have produced a lot of heartbreak the last few years, it’s been a joy being able to root for players like Griffin, Chris Paul, DeAndre Jordan, J.J. Redick, and Jamal Crawford — guys who carry themselves well both on and off the court (the one notable exception aside), who are great with fans and media, who give back to their communities, who clearly enjoy being teammates with one another and who are proud to play for the Clippers.
We won’t spoil any more of the piece here, and fully encourage you to click through and read it in its entirety on the Players’ Tribune.