The NBA career of Detroit Pistons veteran forward Blake Griffin has been marked by a number of accomplishments.
However, in a new interview, the former All-Star admitted that never having reached a conference finals series “gnaws at him.”
The 31-year-old Griffin spoke with Sopan Deb of the New York Times and indicated that the joy he’s taken in his personal success is now outweighed by a simple desire to play for a winning team.
“The individual awards and these things are fine, and I’m appreciative of them, but I just want to win,” Griffin said. “Not making it to a conference final, yeah, it does gnaw at me. Not to the point where I’m losing sleep over it. But that’s the main goal — I want to win.”
Back in 2009, Griffin was the top overall pick in that year’s draft, but was forced to sit out the season due to injury. He went on to win the 2010-11 Rookie of the Year award and has been named to play in the All-Star Game on six different occasions.
Yet, during Griffin’s time with the Clippers, the team managed to reach the Western Conference semifinals just three times and came up short each time.
Since being dealt to the Pistons in early 2018, he’s only played in one playoff series. That came the following year, when the Pistons were swept in four games by the Milwaukee Bucks.
With the Pistons currently rebuilding, the chances of Griffin achieving his goal anytime soon appear to be extremely remote.
After the 2020-21 season, Griffin has a player option that will pay him $38.96 million, a salary he will likely not get if he declines the option and becomes a free agent.
Still, if he’s serious about winning, he may have to consider sacrificing some money in order to join a contender.