Detroit Pistons forward Blake Griffin made his return Saturday to the Staples Center for the first time since being traded to last season. In his return he scored 44 points, and the Pistons walked away with the win, but that isn’t what has people talking.
During pregame warmups, Clippers owner, and Griffin’s former boss Steve Ballmer, waited near the Pistons sideline, as Griffin took the last few practice shots. It looks (in the video below) as if Ballmer was waiting to shake Blake’s hand and welcome him back to Los Angeles for the first time, but Griffin awkwardly dodges him and runs quickly into the locker room.
Its obvious emotions are running high since it’s no secret Griffin disliked how after signing him to a five-year, $171-million contract, calling him a “Clipper for Life.” He was traded a few months later.
Jovan Buha from The Athletic was first to report the awkward half exchange:
As Blake finished his warmup, Steve Ballmer was on the sideline watching and waiting. When Ballmer saw Griffin finish, he started walking towards him. Blake saw Ballmer and sped up, running away to the Pistons locker room as Ballmer yelled “Blake! Blake!” with his hand out.
— Jovan Buha (@jovanbuha) January 12, 2019
There’s not a lot of time for chit-chat, in L.A. it seems.
The Pistons won, 109-104.