Detroit Pistons star Blake Griffin had a very awkward interaction with Los Angeles Clippers owner Steve Ballmer on Saturday afternoon.
The 29-year-old forward was warming up for his game against his former squad when he was spotted by Ballmer. Griffin, who spent nine seasons in Los Angeles before he was unexpectedly traded last year by the team that drafted him, was not excited to see the former Microsoft CEO.
According to Jovan Buha, the five-time All-Star avoided Ballmer like the plague.
Griffin spoke about the trade during a podcast appearance in May 2018, saying he had not spoken to Ballmer and even joked that he “never” used Microsoft products.
The 6-foot-10 forward obviously holds some animosity about the way the deal went down. It seems likely that the Clippers owner is trying to make amends, especially considering he was the least keen on trading away their superstar.
Here is how Buha recently described how the trade went down (via The Athletic):
“Owner Steve Ballmer and [president of basketball operations Lawrence Frank] were the two hardest to sell on the trade. Both held attachments to Griffin on a personal and professional level. After several late nights and early mornings of analysis, the Clippers finally determined that a trade with the Pistons was the right call. “
Given his personal and professional attachments to Griffin, it was likely a gut punch to be blatantly ignored at warmups during the highly anticipated return to Staples Center.
But given all of the pomp and circumstance that was offered to the former franchise cornerstone before he signed a contract extension only to trade him months later, it’s fair to expect the basketball player to remain upset.
Ballmer reportedly “laughed it off” after the interaction did not yield in any form of a conversation between the two parties.