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Arts and Entertainment

Blake Griffin Wrote A Really Funny, Sincere Open Letter To Clippers Fans

Blake Griffin hangin' loose. (Harry How/ Getty Images)
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Clippers forward Blake Griffin wrote an open letter for The Players Tribune, in which he apologized (again) for punching the team's equipment manager Matias Testi in the face in January. Griffin fractured his hand in the act, and missed the majority of the season.

He opens the piece bluntly, writing:

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.

Griffin, the number one draft pick selected by the Clippers in 2009, initiated a sea change in the Clippers performance. In the seasons that followed, the Clippers have been real contenders in the NBA, making the playoffs every year since the 2011-2012 season. Meanwhile, the Lakers have taken a nose dive, finishing last in the Pacific Division for the last two seasons. But when Griffin first came to L.A., the Clippers were far from a threat. He writes:
I remember I got off the plane at LAX for the first time back in 2009, and I was walking through the airport, looking around in the little souvenir shops, and at the ads on the walls, and at the people, and it was allllll Lakers, Dodgers and USC stuff. I’m seeing Lakers hoodies. Lakers teddy bears. Lakers credit card offers.

I’m like, Where’s … wait, where’s the Clippers stuff?

There was literally no Clippers stuff in sight. No billboards. No hats. Nothing. I didn’t even see a Clippers logo until I got to the team facility.

So while there are more Clippers fans these days, many Lakers fans consider them the enemy, now that they're actually good. Griffin offered some really funny stories about his experience as a Clipper around town. For example: when Clippers throw out
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The other day, Austin Rivers was in the locker room talking about how he was nervous to throw out the first pitch at the Dodgers game because he had never pitched from the mound before. I told him, “Oh, just be prepared, because they’re probably gonna boo you.”

He said, “What? Why? We’re in L.A.”

And I explained to him that the majority of Dodgers fans love the Lakers.

I’m like, “Dude, you’ll see.”

He got booed so hard he actually dropped the ball as he was walking to the mound. It was amazing.

Ahahahaha. And this:
Fast-forward to a few years later, when we started making the playoffs, and I’m at a Dodgers game in the stands. All of a sudden, I see the camera guy come over and crouch down right in front of me, and I just freeze like, Oh no, here we go. Two seconds later, my face is up on the fan-cam thing on the scoreboard. And they’re just holding the camera on me, and holding it on me. I’m doing that creepy neighborly smile thing you do in those moments, like, “Hiya, everyone. How are ya?”

I got destroyed. The whole stadium was booing me.

Griffin goes on to say how excited he is for this season, "basketball as therapy," how good the team is, how hard they're going to work for the fans, and other cliche platitudes. The NBA season kicks off in exactly one month, so we don't have to wait long to see how the Clippers look this year. Looking forward to it!

Photos: Inside The Clippers' Open Practice With The Fans Who Love Them

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