Having worked out the friction that came between them last season, Chris Paul and Blake Griffin have grown closer this summer. With expectations for the star-studded LA Clippers rising, CP3 says Griffin’s play and development will be the key to how far the team will go. Per ESPN: “Blake is one of those guys, where his age has nothing to do with anything,’ Paul said. ‘People may say he’s a young guy, but he’s been special in this league, he’s been an All-Star. His voice carries a lot of weight and I think our team will definitely go as Blake goes. He’s our guy, and he’s good enough to do so.’ [...] The relationship between Paul and Griffin hasn’t always been perfect in their two years as teammates. There have been some differences of opinion in terms of their visions for how the team should be playing. But after spending a significant amount of time together this summer — travelling to Asia as part of a tour for Nike’s Jordan Brand and filming a national commercial for FootLocker, which will be released Tuesday — Paul says their bond, and understanding of each other, has deepened. ‘It’s been a great summer for us. I think we’ve both had an opportunity to grow,’ Paul said. ‘As you get older you realize it’s all about winning and I think we both realize we really need each other in order to do that.’ [...] ‘There’s no excuses,’ Paul said. ‘For me, years from now I’ll never remember we won 56 games in the regular season [in 2012]. The only thing I’ll remember is we were up 2-0 and we lost 4-2. That’s all I remember. I just know we lost. It’s something I think about every day. I’m going to keep fighting until something gives. Ricky Bobby said it best,’ Paul said, referring to the ‘Talladega Nights’ film starring Will Ferrell. ‘If you’re not first you’re last’ and I’ve been last the past eight seasons.’”