Blake Griffin Announces Retirement from NBA: 'I'm Thankful for Every Single Moment'

Griffin was the first overall pick in the 2009 NBA Draft and earned six All-Star selections during his career

<p>Corey Nickols/Getty</p> Blake Griffin on March 09, 2024

Corey Nickols/Getty

Blake Griffin on March 09, 2024
  • Blake Griffin announced his retirement from basketball after 14 years in the NBA

  • Griffin was the first overall pick in the 2009 NBA draft

  • He thanked his friends, family, fans, teammates and coaches in a thoughtful letter on social media

Blake Griffin, the first overall pick in the 2009 NBA draft, has called it a career. The athlete announced his retirement from basketball on April 16 in a lengthy post on Instagram.

Griffin, 35, played seven seasons with the LA Clippers after they drafted him in 2009. He also played for the Detroit Pistons, Brooklyn Nets and Boston Celtics.

His announcement came in the form of a digital letter, telling fans he "never envisioned" himself to be "the guy who would have a 'letter to basketball' retirement announcement" in the post. "But as I reflected on my career, the one feeling I kept coming back to and the one thing I wanted to express was thankfulness," he wrote.

The 2011 dunk contest champion said he's "thankful for every single moment – not just the good ones," listing "the awards, the dunks, and the memorable moments spent with family, friends, fans, teammates and coaches."

<p>Lauren Leigh Bacho/NBAE via Getty</p> Blake Griffin during a game on March 6, 2023

Lauren Leigh Bacho/NBAE via Getty

Blake Griffin during a game on March 6, 2023

Related: Blake Griffin Opens Up About Being Traded from the Pistons to the Nets: 'It Was Time for a Change'

Griffin said he's "equally thankful for the not-so-good moments" over his NBA career. "The losses, the injuries, the wayyy too many surgeries, the lessons, the heartbreaks, and it wouldn't be a sports retirement letter without acknowledging the 'haters,'" he went on.

"All of these experiences made my 14 years in the league truly unforgettable, and I can’t help but to just feel thankful," Griffin shared.

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Griffin also mentioned his parents and brother in the letter, thanking them for their years of support. "I could continue on about the people in my life who have contributed immensely to my career, but in this short non-letter, I have to acknowledge my parents, Tommy and Gail, and my brother, Taylor, for their unconditional support and guidance," he wrote.

Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic Blake Griffin (right) and his brother Taylor
Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic Blake Griffin (right) and his brother Taylor

"Lastly, my agent Sam Goldfeder, who has been a steadfast voice of reason and my wartime consigliere — thank you," Griffin added, before concluding his letter by acknowledging the impact the sport of basketball has had on his life.

"The game of basketball has given me so much in this life, and I wouldn’t change a thing," he wrote. "Last but certainly not least, here comes the obligatory ‘I’m excited for my next chapter’ part: just kidding, I’m done. Thank you."

Griffin was known for his explosive athleticism in the NBA. During his career, he made the All-Star team six times, was selected to the second-team All-NBA three times, two third-team All-NBA nods and was named the Rookie of the Year in 2011.

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