blake griffin

Originally published in SLAM 146

Christmastime. The envelopes appeared in locker rooms League-wide, laid on chairs and placed on benches. Every player in the NBA—except Clippers—got one. It was blank, save for a Knicks logo in the upper left corner, unsealed, one sheet of paper inside. We got hold of one:

“Dear Fellow NBA Players,” it began. “You are undoubtedly familiar with the events of November 21, 2010—if you aren’t, check anywhere on the Internet—when I was brutally dunked on by Clippers forward Blake Griffin. Since then, things have not been the same. I have suffered from nightmares, daymares and a loss of playing time from which my career may never recover. I’ve spoken with Frederic Weis via Skype, and he had no real advice for me. I fear I have been irreparably harmed.

“But,” it continued, “while it may be too late for me, it isn’t for you. So, I implore you, if Blake Griffin catches the ball anywhere near the hoop, please, GET OUT OF HIS WAY. Sure, your coach may get on you for failing to rotate or something, but when was the last time ‘not rotating on defense’ wound up on the SportsCenter Top 10? Exactly.

“Please, save yourself from embarrassment and YouTuberization.

“Sincerely, Timofey Mozgov”

Russ Bengtson