blake griffin

Originally published in SLAM 148

Kevin Seraphin was born on December 7, 1989 in French Guiana. He didn’t start playing basketball until 2004, didn’t move to America until he joined the Washington Wizards in 2010. It’s unlikely that posters were a big part of his childhood. We’ll get back to that.

JaVale McGee was a spectacular showman in this year’s Dunk Contest, dunking multiple balls on multiple baskets, changing shoes, making the finals. And he still didn’t have a chance. We’ll get back to that, too.

John Wall has had quite the rookie year. He’s overcome injury and battled despite being on a team that was Lottery-bound from training camp. In his first home game, he posted 29 points, 13 assists and 9 steals. Know how many first-place ROY votes he’s gonna get?

The thread that ties these players together is, of course, Blake Griffin. He wiped McGee’s dunk contest performance from the sellout crowd’s memory, rendered Wall’s otherwise excellent rookie season to footnote status, and added insult to injury by dropping a game-high 26 points on the Wizards in their own gym—all in the first half.

As for Seraphin, he may not have had posters as a kid, but now—thanks to Blake—he’s on one.

Russ Bengtson