Commentary

'NCAA Basketball 10': Griffin takes cover

As he awaits the NBA draft, Blake Griffin nabs the "NCAA Basketball 10" cover.

Originally Published: June 16, 2009
By Jon Robinson

When Blake Griffin dunks on you, he doesn't need to say a word.

"I let the dunks speak for themselves," Griffin laughs. "But I definitely try to bring it."

And the way he slammed the ball down the throats of defenders at Oklahoma spoke volumes to fans and scouts alike as Griffin stands poised to be the No. 1 overall pick in this year's NBA draft.

His viciousness around the rim also speaks to sponsors as EA Sports has already swooped in and signed Griffin to be their cover athlete and spokesman for the upcoming video game "NCAA Basketball 10."

As for Griffin's favorite game of all time?

"'NFL Blitz,'" he says.

That's right, the guy who doesn't like to talk trash grew up playing the most trash-talking sports game ever made.

Maybe next time Griffin dunks on a defender's head, someone in the crowd should scream in their best Blitz voice: "That was totally uncalled for, but a lot of fun to watch."


ESPN: You're relaxing and watching the NBA draft lottery when the Clippers win the No. 1 pick ... what goes through your mind?

Blake Griffin: I was just excited about the opportunity, wherever it was. My thing is, I want to play for the team that wants me to be a part of them. So if that's the Clippers, I'm definitely excited and looking forward to it.

ESPN: But do you think one guy can join a team like the Clippers and change the perception fans have of the organization?

NCAA Basketball 10

Griffin: I'm not sure. I'm definitely just going to come in and try to help out. They don't need me to do anything that I can't do because they have a lot of great players, but hopefully we can hit on something there and get the program going in the right direction.

ESPN: Adding you to the Clippers actually makes for a fun video game team with you and Baron Davis running the break.

Griffin: That's true. [laughs] We'll see.

ESPN: What do you think you'll add to the team once you get drafted?

Griffin: Hopefully I'll bring some versatility and fill a spot that they don't have. I think that's one of the things that really helps me, that versatility and being able to do more than just one or two things. Hopefully I'll fit into whatever style they ask of me. Bring another physical player to the team and help them become successful.

ESPN: Last year there were a lot of critics saying you might be too soft for the NBA and that physical play really stops your game. What do you say to people who still think you're too soft?

Griffin: I really don't mind. I really love to play physical. That's when I feel like I'm at my best ... I seek it out. So whenever things like that are said, I just let it bounce off of me. I don't think any of those guys have been underneath there with us.

ESPN: You're known for such big dunks in college, does that mean we'll see you in the dunk contest this year during NBA All-Star Weekend?

Griffin: I'm not sure. I really don't know. We'll see how that plays out.

ESPN: It seems like the new thing in the NBA is to have trick shots for the cameras during warm-ups. LeBron and Dwight Howard have already perfected this craft -- have you thought of anything to top them? Maybe you can start shooting from the crowd.

Griffin: To be honest, I don't, but I might have to start. We'll see what I can come up with.

ESPN: What did you think when you found out EA Sports wanted to put you on the cover of a video game before you were even drafted into the NBA?

I'm definitely excited to be on the cover. As a college player, that is the game you want to be on, and to be on the list of guys who have been on the cover before me [Kevin Love, Kevin Durant, Adam Morrison], it's exciting.

-- Blake Griffin

Griffin: I'm definitely excited to be on the cover. As a college player, that is the game you want to be on, and to be on the list of guys who have been on the cover before me [Kevin Love, Kevin Durant, Adam Morrison], it's exciting.

ESPN: What are you most looking forward to about joining the NBA?

Griffin: I'm just looking forward to stepping up to the challenge and the opportunity. Playing in the NBA has been a dream of mine for a long time, so to finally get to do that is amazing.

ESPN: What are you going to miss most about college life?

Griffin: The atmosphere. College is one of the most fun times of your life, but at the same time, now I'm going to get to do a lot of things that I couldn't in college.

ESPN: "NCAA Basketball 10" is really trying to capture that college atmosphere. What are some of the things you loved most about playing college ball?

Griffin: You've got the mascots and the student section and the crowd is just so into it. It's something that they're incorporating more into the game, and especially this year where they revamped it where every team has a style of play like they really do in real life, so if I'm playing as Oklahoma, it's like I'm actually playing as my team. It's crazy how much it looks like the guys on our team.

ESPN: EA Sports is also working on creating your character for "NBA Live 10." What advice would you like to give them to make a better Blake?

Griffin: Just put me around the rim, always banging, and when I get the ball, give me a good hook shot and a dunk. Maybe give me a good spin move.

ESPN: One of the things that I love most about the NBA draft is looking at everyone's suits. Does a man's suit say anything about his style of game?

Griffin: I actually think it does. I haven't told anyone much about it, but mine is hopefully going to be a classy look.

ESPN: Classy look for a classic-style game?

Griffin: Yeah, I guess so.

ESPN: Do you remember any suits people have worn in the past that left you shaking your head, like what is this guy thinking?

Griffin: [laughs] Jalen Rose had the all-red suit. That one sticks out. Joakim Noah had the bow tie with the hair sticking out. There have been some crazy ones and I definitely want to steer clear of that when I get the opportunity.

ESPN: You don't want to be hiding the video from your grandkids one day because you're embarrassed by your suit.

Griffin: Exactly.

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