Detroit Pistons: Is Blake Griffin a Future Hall of Famer?

Detroit Pistons forward Blake Griffin (23) Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports
Detroit Pistons forward Blake Griffin (23) Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports /

As the class of 2023 entered the Hall of Fame, I wondered which past Detroit Pistons will join their August company in years to come.

Will Stan Van Gundy one day present Blake Griffin with one of the game’s highest honors?

Probably not. Who knows who Griffin will ask to be his presenter, but one day he’ll join the likes of Dwyane Wade and Tony Parker. Despite Griffin’s career being derailed due to injuries, he’s the type of talent usually inducted into the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame.

Detroit Pistons: Blake Griffin will make the Hall of Fame

A six-time All-Star, three-time member of the All-NBA Second Team, two-time Third Team member, and Rookie of the Year, Blake Griffin was an amazing player. In college, he was the National College Player of the Year, a consensus first-team All-American, the NCAA rebounding leader, and the Big 12 Player of the Year. Griffin achieved a tremendous amount in a relatively short amount of time.

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He jumped over a Kia in the blink of an eye, and although that occurred in 2011, it seems like just yesterday.

Griffin was tremendously gifted, one of the most physically talented players to ever step onto the hardwood. I hate to see that talent hobbled. He played his heart out in Detroit. In 2019, he played two playoff games on one leg in an attempt to get the Detroit Pistons a win.

I respect that. A lot.

His Clippers teams, despite their talent, never made it past the second round of the playoffs. With the Detroit Pistons, he was a past his prime, and in Brooklyn and Boston he’d transitioned to a bench role. He didn’t enjoy the team success he sought, and an argument could be made that his reliance on athleticism didn’t contribute to winning basketball to the degree his physical gifts would’ve allowed.

I won’t make that argument because I watched him play in Detroit and saw the ways he’d improved his game. I saw him take charges for a losing team and help coach young players. He’d dramatically improved his outside shooting and defensive awareness. I wish his body hadn’t failed him at the time when his game reached its intellectual peak.

When thinking of Blake Griffin, I think about what could’ve been. A Hall of Fame inauguration might shift the spotlight back to what was, an amazing talent who provided highlight dunks on a nightly basis and developed into an exceptionally skilled player. In Detroit, we saw an intellectually savvy player changing his game to accommodate his failing body. In Brooklyn, he made winning plays for a team with championship aspirations.

Blake Griffin, throughout his career, was good for the game of basketball and belongs in the Hall of Fame.

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