- Mike Ehrmann/Getty
- The Los Angeles Clippers traded Blake Griffin to the Detroit Pistons on Monday.
- The move comes just months after the Clippers wooed Griffin in free agency with a pitch that included raising his jersey to the rafters and likening him to historical figures like Martin Luther King Jr. and Gandhi on a t-shirt.
- Such a move could set the Clippers back from a player-relation standpoint, as players notice how quickly the Clippers moved from the face of their franchise.
The Los Angeles Clippers traded Blake Griffin to the Detroit Pistons on Monday in a blockbuster deal that involved six players and two draft picks.
The Pistons will receive Griffin along with Brice Johnson and Willie Reed while the Clippers will receive Tobias Harris, Avery Bradley, Boban Marjanovic, and first- and second-round draft picks.
The deal may be a bit cruel for Griffin, who in July signed a five-year, $171 million contract with the Clippers in free agency. Making matters worse, prior to signing the contract, the Clippers had wooed Griffin with an elaborate and cringe-worthy pitch.
ESPN’s Zach Lowe reported in October, that the Clippers had arranged a walkway for Griffin at the Staples Center, in which fake walls were decorated with photos of Griffin throughout his life. When Griffin got to the court, the Clippers held a fake ceremony in which they raised his jersey to the rafters. No Clippers player has ever had a jersey retired by the team.
Furthermore, Marc Spears of ESPN’s The Undefeated reported in July that Clippers employees were wearing t-shirts on which faces of prominent historical figures were displayed. The shirt had figures like Martin Luther King Jr., Abraham Lincoln, Gandhi, Muhammad Ali, and more – and Griffin.
Clippers employees wore T-shirt after Blake Griffin's FA meeting likening him to MLK, Obama, Ali, JFK, Lincoln, Gandhi, MJ,Einstein,Mandela. pic.twitter.com/BZtXqhdrWr
— Marc J. Spears (@MarcJSpearsESPN) July 1, 2017
Making such a deal may set the Clippers back a little bit from a player-relations standpoint. Players, particularly prospective free agents, take note of the way organizations treat players. Trading Griffin so quickly after such a grandiose commitment – not to mention sending a star player from major media market in Los Angeles to a struggling Detroit team in January – may alter the perception of the Clippers around the league.