Blake Griffin didn’t see Nets benching coming



One big man who fell out of the Nets’ rotation is trying to help another.

Among the people who have reached out to Blake Griffin since the Nets benched the veteran center/forward has been DeAndre Jordan, whom Steve Nash sat last season for more than a month. Griffin cannot help the team on the court, so he is trying to see how he can contribute from afar.

“I have had great examples, DeAndre last year — he is a guy that I talked to, that reached out,” Griffin said Monday at practice, his first time speaking publicly since the Nets minimized his role. “A lot of the guys from last year reached out. [Jordan] did a really great job with it. I told him that. That is how I am going to try to do it as well.”

Griffin said he understands why LaMarcus Aldridge is starting over him, but the outright benching came as a surprise.

“LA has been playing unbelievable,” Griffin said of Aldridge. “So I totally get starting him, especially [with] Joe [Harris] out.

“Being completely out of it though, I didn’t necessarily see that coming.”

Blake Griffin sits on the Nets’ bench
Corey Sipkin

Griffin, who reinvented his game last season, when he shot 38.3 percent from the 3-point arc in 26 games with Brooklyn, has not been able to match his production a season later. He was shooting 16.1 percent from deep before Nash plucked him from both the starting five and the rotation. Griffin played nine minutes against Cleveland on Nov. 22 and has not touched the court in the past two games.

Nash has said that will continue “for now.” While Aldridge is seeing the bulk of the time, Paul Millsap also is getting a shot.

“I haven’t shot the ball well,” acknowledged Griffin, who does not have the athleticism he used to have but leads the league in charges drawn. “I’ve tried to make up for some of that with other stuff.”

The 32-year-old said he has not received a clear reason from Nash concerning the benching but will do whatever the coach asks. He wants to be a good teammate and “be a professional.”

By all accounts, that is what he has done.

“I feel for him. That’s not easy,” Nash said. “It’s tough when you go through a rough stretch of play, and the world kind of caves in on you a little bit. I’ve been there and understand it. We have to give other guys an opportunity at this point, but Blake’s had a great attitude.”

LaMarcus Aldridge
Getty Images

The Knicks-Nets matchup at Barclays Center on Tuesday means Nash will get to see his godson, RJ Barrett, again. Nash and Barrett’s father, Rowan, were teammates with Team Canada and have been longtime friends.

Even though the teams play their home games a borough apart, Nash and RJ have not been able to meet up this season.

“I never see him,” Nash said. “I mean, first of all, they live in Westchester County somewhere, so I never get to see him, but we stay in touch over text message.”

Nash on the Knicks: “I think it’s a talented team that’s trying to find itself. They had a really good run last year and then they added a few pieces, and we’re seeing that it does take time. So they’re very capable of beating really good teams, but as their [11-9] record indicates, they’re a team that’s trying to find that consistency and identity much like we are.”


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