Clippers fans applaud Blake Griffin in return; he deserves much more recognition

During that time, the Clippers underwent a dramatic makeover, turning from punching bag to pugilists, from jokers to contenders, helping rewrite decades of narrative about the organization.

His return to Staples Center on Saturday was the final step in his term as a Clipper — he got the standing ovation and highlight package he deserved.

That he didn’t win a title — that the Clippers never advanced past the second round of the playoffs — probably complicates his legacy in Los Angeles more than it should.

Because Griffin was a star, because he built a reputation for being a tireless worker, because he’s got career points-rebounds-assists averages that have been surpassed by only Larry Bird and Wilt Chamberlain, the Clippers were able to get a shot at a brighter future by dealing him to Detroit.

Some prominent league executives think the team’s dream of landing Kawhi Leonard and Kevin Durant in free agency this summer isn’t far-fetched.

Without Griffin, the Clippers aren’t where they are today — a threat to have the biggest offseason since the Miami Heat added LeBron James and Chris Bosh.

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