Blake Griffin Interview
Thu, 05/21/2009 - 5:49am
Blake Griffin: When it came down to it, I didn't feel completely comfortable with leaving. I wanted to get another year under my belt to improve physically and skillwise. And it turned out to be a great decision in the long run. I got to experience things this year that I didn't experience in my freshman year. And I'm able to do things now that I couldn't after my freshman year.
NBADraft.net: How important is it for you to be the #1 pick?
Blake Griffin: You know that wasn't my reason for going back. It's a great honor, but whether I go #1 or #31 it doesn't make me a better or worse player. I'm still going to work just as hard to improve.
NBADraft.net: What makes OU coach Jeff Capel such a good coach? What is the most important thing he taught you?
Blake Griffin: Just how he relates to players. He does a great job, particularly considering how young he is. It's amazing how much he knows and how well he understands the game. He's taught me a lot about being a leader. He talks to me about that a lot. The way you should conduct yourself and the way you need to work to be succesful.
NBADraft.net: You have been working out in San Francisco with Frank Matrisciano and Bob Hill. How has preparation gone so far leading up to the draft?
Blake Griffin: It's been great, we've really gone after it. Working really hard on a lot of things just trying to improve.
NBADraft.net: How is his style of training better than the standard methods used?
Blake Griffin: I don't think you can necessarily say it's better but it gets you in a different kind of shape. It really gets your endurance up. I can go a little bit longer in my workouts and I'm just as fresh at the end of my workout as at the beginning.
Blake Griffin: I've really been working on my shot. I've been trying to add to my offense, and get better as a whole.
NBADraft.net: How much did having an older brother to compete with help to mold you into the player you are today?
Blake Griffin: He's been a big influence on me, not just in basketball but everything. Having him around, someone that I can go to. He'd been through 2 years of college when i got to OU so he had a lot of advice for me.
NBADraft.net: You guys are very close – what will it be like next season when you’ll likely be playing away from each other?
Blake Griffin: It'll be alright. We're both very capable. He'll have my back and I'll have his.
NBADraft.net: LeBron James and Dwight Howard are considered the small forward and center of the future. Will you be the power forward of the future in the NBA?
Blake Griffin: I hope so. I guess we'll find out over the next few years.
NBADraft.net: There have been a lot of comparisons thrown out there about your game (LeBron, Malone, Charles Barkley, Amare Stoudemire, Kenyon Martin, Antonio McDyess). Who do you see your game most like, and is there anyone you pattern your game after?
Blake Griffin: I'm not really sure. Everyone always asks me that. I think I bring something different to the table than any of those guys. I hope to have a great career like those guys. I really pride myself on trying to be versatile.
NBADraft.net: Are you ready to be the focal point of the Clippers offense?
NBADraft.net: The pick-and-roll has become very prevalent in today’s game. How much focus do you place on defending the pick-and-roll?
Blake Griffin: I've been focused more on improving my offensive game. That's something that I think will come as I make the adjustment to the NBA game.
NBADraft.net: Who is the toughest opponent you’ve ever played against (offensively and defensively)?
Blake Griffin: Offensively it would have to be Michael Beasley. Defensively it was the 3 guys from Utah all at one time.
NBADraft.net: What are your goals for next season?
Blake Griffin: To come in and help to turn the team (Clippers) around. Make a difference in the win column. To both help my team improve and to get better myself.
NBADraft.net: Who will be your main competition in next year’s ROY race?
Blake Griffin: I haven't seen a lot of Ricky Rubio but from what I've heard it could be him. James Harden would be the other guy I think is ready to be a player from the very beginning.
NBADraft.net: Thanks for taking time out of your busy schedule and best of luck with the Clippers next year!