LA Clippers star forward Blake Griffin recently said he’d never take part in an NBA Slam Dunk Contest again, but once he arrived in NOLA for All-Star Weekend, Griffin backed away from the statement to a degree. Blake also addressed Karl Malone, who’s a big fan of his. Per ESPN:

Blake on comparisons with fellow All-Star Weekend participant Karl Malone

“I’m humbled by that. That’s a honor. He was one of the best power forwards to ever do it, so obviously I have a lot of work to do to get to where [I can approach] what he accomplished. That’s not a bad person to be compared to … I’ve watched a lot of tape of him. I’ve watched mostly [from] his later years after he had really developed and had really become a force scoring the basketball. And the thing I love about him is everyone I’ve talked to about him talks about his work ethic and how hard he worked. And then on top of that just how he put together a complete game and used his strength to his advantage but also could step out and knock down shots.”

Blake on his future in the dunk contest

“I haven’t retired officially. It isn’t something I’ll never, ever do again. But for right now, I try to take my rest when I can. And this year I really wanted that Saturday night rest. So not this year.”