Blake Griffin Q&A: "People Have the Idea All I Do Is Dunk, Make Layups"

Ryan MillerCorrespondent IJune 12, 2009

MEMPHIS, TN - MARCH 27:  Blake Griffin #23 of the Oklahoma Sooners dunks the ball as he hits his head on the side on the backboard in the second half against the Syracuse Orange during the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament South Regionals at the FedExForum on March 27, 2009 in Memphis, Tennessee. The Sooners defeated the Orange 84-71.  (Photo by Joe Murphy/Getty Images)

Here is the link to an interview with Blake Griffin from the NBA Pre-draft Combine in Chicago. 

Griffin outlines his process training for the draft and what he wants to prove to people in the NBA, and pretends like he doesn't know the Clippers are drafting him.

What have you found most challenging through the whole process?

Just managing my time and always making sure I get all my workouts in. You know, having to go different places. I’ve been to L.A. and New York and just kind of all over the place. I need to get everything in and do what’s important.

Can you tell us what a typical day is like in your world?

When I’m back in San Francisco working out we wake up at 6 and do basketball from 7:30 to 10:30 or 11.

Then we have a little bit of time off and we do our strength and conditioning workouts, and then we go back at night and either shoot or play.

So is there any down time?

We get to eat here and there (insert fake laughs by the media because he’s the No. 1 pick). We have our days off but that’s the way it should be right now. That’s what I’m really focused on is working and trying to get better.

Are you under the assumption you’re going to the Clippers or do you see something happening?

I’m playing it as if I don’t know right now, which I don’t, so I’m not guaranteed anything and I’m going through it just like everybody else is.

So when Dunleavy comes out and says, “We’re definitely drafting you,” you don’t put much stock into that?

Um (laughs)…I’ll say um, I believe him, as one of my next coaches I believe him. But anything can happen and that’s the way I’m looking at it.

You never say never, and like I said, I’m just going through it like I have no idea.

What do you want to prove to people once you get in the NBA?

I think a lot of people have the idea that all I do is dunk and all I do is make layups. Hopefully I can show that I’m more versatile, that I can score from the outside, I can dribble a little bit and be more than just a one-dimensional player.

Is it fun reuniting with old friends and opponents?

I’ve seen some of these guys since high school. You see them every summer and to be around them is great. To see how everyone else is doing and where they’re working out and how it’s going to them is good.

What’s been your favorite part of the whole thing?
Some of the restaurants have been pretty good (laughs). Food is a big part of my life.

Just getting to meet people and the different players that I’ve got to meet and getting a perspective from those guys and taking advice from them.

You’re going to be the No. 1 pick. What does that mean to you?

It means a lot. Going No. 1 or going No. 3 or 4 or 5, it doesn’t change what kind of player I am. I’m still the same player and still do the same things, so to me it doesn’t make me better to go No. 1, but it’s definitely a goal and definitely an honor so it’s humbling.

Did the late Wayman Tisdale have an impact on your game at all?

He did. I didn’t really get to know him until I was in the middle of my freshman year at Oklahoma.

The influence he had on my game and my life, just the way he looks at life in general and the way he views it is a positive influence and something I’ll always remember.

Given your circumstance, how many teams are you going to work out for?

Um, right now we have one workout scheduled and I don’t know other than that, we’ll see.

Are you more aware now that you have all eyes on you in public?

You just have to know that there’s people watching you and you’ve got to be a positive role model and not put yourself in bad situations.

Five years from now, what do you think your life will be like (a different reporter's question)?

Hopefully I’ll still be playing basketball. I’d love to be a guy that’s really helping a team make a run at championships, and a guy that has really improved his game and is halfway through or starting a great career.

Blake, were you done answering that question?

Yes, ma’am (great manners).

Did you offer Willie Warren (Oklahoma freshman that decided not to enter the NBA Draft) any advice?

I told him if you come back you have to dedicate yourself to it and you’ll be fine, and if you don’t (come back to college) you’ll be fine too. So either way I’m here for you and if you ever need anything just let me know.

Does his decision surprise you at all?

A little bit. You know, people said so many things about him leaving and him staying that I just kind of took it as it was. I’m just glad he came to a decision he was happy with.

If somebody described you as the “next blank,” a certain player, who would you wish that to be or who do you model your game on?

I really like how Amare Stoudemire came into the league and I feel like we’re kind of in the same position.

He really liked to use his athleticism and dunk all the time and he slowly developed his jump shot and that’s something that I’m working on right now so hopefully I can kind of be in the category.

Playing basketball as a youth, was there anyone you looked up to in the league?

Obviously Michael Jordan, but when I was younger there was always a different player that I loved watching. I was a big fan of Shaq when I was little, but I don’t think I’m going to play too much like him, though.

I was watching ESPNU today and they were questioning your height. What did you measure?

6’ 8.75” without shoes and 6’10” with shoes.

What did you do in today’s combine workout?

We did the height and measuring yesterday. We did the vertical today, bench press, 20 yard spring and lane agility. I did 22 in the bench (of 185 pounds).

Have you had any conversations with Dunleavy?
I actually met him in the lobby yesterday. It was just very brief.

I know my agents have talked to him and have a good relationship with him, so I look forward to spending more time with him when I go to visit.

NBA Pre-draft Combine Results:

Height w/o shoes: 6' 8.5"
Height w/ shoes: 6' 10"
Weight: 248
Wingspan: 6' 11.25"
Standing Reach: 8' 9"
Body Fat: 8.2 percent
No Step Vert. 32.0
Max Vert. 35.5
Bench Press: 22
Lane Agility: 10.95
3/4 Court Sprint: 3.28 sec.


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