May 15, 2014; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin (32) reacts during the fourth quarter in game six of the second round of the 2014 NBA Playoffs against the Oklahoma City Thunder at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports
Little has been released at this point regarding the recent injury of Los Angeles Clippers’ star forward Blake Griffin. ESPN reported that Griffin had sustained a fracture in his back, but the exact location and severity of the injury were not mentioned.
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) July 29, 2014
This does not bode well, however. Griffin already fought through a fractured patella in his knee that cost him what would have been his true rookie season. He came back the next year to win Rookie of the Year, but one wonders now if Griffin may be a little injury prone. And, there is also the issue that back injuries never fully heal. A simple look at Houston’s own Dwight Howard reveals that it can rob a player of athleticism. At worst, it can rob them of a career entirely, or at least a lengthy one (see: Larry Bird, Larry Johnson).
Griffin may bounce back from this and be fine. But it’s tough to imagine him being able to play big minutes as of tip off this season, if he is indeed cleared to play at all.
This is devastating for the Clippers franchise as it tries to awake from the nightmare that was Donald Sterling.
Without Griffin, the Clippers are not at all a contending team, and since so much of Griffin’s game relies on his breathtaking athleticism, it stands to reason that without it, his decline as a player will shortly follow. This is all conjecture at this point, since we don’t know the exact nature of the injury, but as noted history does not bode well for those with back injuries.