Sometimes keeping a player in your organization is as much a business decision as a personnel move. Certain players transcend their play on the court and make marketing for their team so profitable that paying them tens of millions of dollars is actually a smart decision for their pockets. So when the Clippers signed Blake Griffin to a 5-year, $95 million extension, those who questioned Griffin’s value at that price missed the point.
Sure, Blake is a 20-point and 10-rebound a night spark that can change a game with his physicality, but he’s also the sweat-suit wearing, funk-master spokesman for KIA. He’s also the electric dunkmaster that we love to watch as much as he loves to perform. Griffin was born to be an NBA star, and there’s no reason the Clippers shouldn’t cash in on it.
With the salvation of the Clippers comes the media coverage that big markets attract, and with that coverage comes pressure and criticism, but Griffin is so quiet in his stardom that he deals with it gracefully. He has the perfect disposition for the fame he’s acquired. He won’t be causing any problems in the press, all he’ll do is make the casual viewer stop and watch a Clippers game because they recognize Griffin’s name. That’s an asset you can’t put a price on or write up a contract to attain. The Clippers will make back the money they spend on Griffin and more, that’s the sort of potential that makes on court performance a second thought.