Report: Torn Meniscus Knocks Clippers’ All-Star Blake Griffin Out Of Olympics

LAS VEGAS – Not all the news from USA Basketball’s blowout win over the Dominican Republic in their exhibition opener Thursday night at UNLV was good news.

As the U.S. players made their way from the locker room after the game, word spread Los Angeles Clippers All-Star forward Blake Griffin, who went home earlier in the day with a sore left knee, was diagnosed with a torn left meniscus and will require surgery early next week, per The Los Angeles Times. He is expected to miss eight weeks, costing him his spot on the Olympic team and putting a huge scare into the Clippers, who signed him to a five-year extension worth $95 million, just two days ago.

No one took the news harder than Griffin’s All-Star teammate Chris Paul, who was informed of the news as he walked up to the assembled media awaiting the team as they exited the locker room.

“Wow. That’s a tough one. It’s a huge blow,” Paul said. “One of the things I was looking most forward to in this whole Olympic experience was being with him, so we both could grow a little bit as players and things like that. But his health comes before anything, so I’m going to go call him and check on him.”

Griffin joins a long list of U.S. stars who will miss the games due to injury, a group that already included Dwight Howard, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, Derrick Rose, Chauncey Billups and LaMarcus Aldridge.

Hornets rookie Anthony Davis filled in for Griffin Thursday night and as an alternate might be tabbed to replace Griffin permanently, though there was no official word from USA Basketball after the game. Davis can’t officially replace Griffin until Griffin formally withdraws from the team.

Davis looked good in his debut, scoring eight points, including a four-point play, in just 10 minutes, all in the fourth quarter, of the 113-59 win.

“I haven’t heard anything other than I’m still an alternate,” Davis said. “No one has told me anything different.”

USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo said that Davis is the only candidate they are looking at to replace Griffin on the 12-man roster.

“He’s such a terrific kid. He has certain qualities that you just never know,” Colangelo said. “In a game situation, he might be called upon to do something. But he’s not a replacement for Blake. They are two different kind of players. Blake gave us size and strentgh and experience, obviously, and you just move on.”

Word spread quickly among the players that their ranks were being thinned by injury once again, just 17 days before they open the competition in London against France.

“You have to take that news very hard,” LeBron James said. “Blake’s a hard worker, one of the best young players we have in this league and you never want anyone to be injured. I wish him the fastest recovery.”

With the injury toll piling up the way it has, concerns about players staying healthy is no doubt going to be a hot topic among owners and players as summer league action heats up here and international exhibitions take place all over the globe.

“That only comes up when somebody gets hurt,” James said. “Honestly, you could get hurt doing anything. You could get hurt working out in the summer time. It sucks for him and it sucks for everyone that’s been hurt. You never want that to happen, especially in the summer time and like I said, I just wish him a fast and speedy recovery.”

20 Comments

  1. Aric says:

    Blake doesn’t have the defensive skills needed. I think he is a star, but not a super star imo. On the clippers he makes a good PF but not someone who could honestly be a game changer, Especially in the Olympics. My final thought is he can be easily replaced, calling his injury “a hard hit for team USA” is a bit of an overstatement.

  2. Brandon says:

    They should pull up DeMarcus Cousins, anyone agree with me on that?

  3. Basketball fan says:

    Blake griffien isnt good anyway he just makes good ducks.

  4. MOB-TOWN BALLIN says:

    I THINK THEY SHOULD PICKUP ANTHONY DAVIS DEMARCUS COUSINS BOTH ARE SOLID

  5. KINGJAMESBALLIN says:

    Eight weeks is a long time. Hope he gets well soon.

  6. Noooooooooooooooooooooooooo, hope blake a fast recovery n come back to his old dunking self. I was so looking forward to Blake putting on a dunking feast in blow out games.
    Yoooo LBJ, RW,AI, & CA better do some amazing dunks to show respect to Blake injury.
    Gaaaaaaaah.

  7. Will says:

    Very dissapointing. I have tickets for the team USA GB game next week so not being able to see Rose, Dwight, Blake, Wade etc. is disappointing, but seeing all the other players is still amazing for me and I’m thoroughly looking forward to see all these NBA superstars next week. And hoping for a Great Britain win too!

  8. Mike says:

    IMO this is actually a good thing. I never liked Blake Griffin on this team because his style of play doesn’t fit well for international basketball. I say replace him with Damarcus Cousins who should have been chosen in the 1st place.

    • Common Sense says:

      wow is all i can say. He’s not even close to worth the discussion. Ask both coaches. He’s not a team player, he’s not professional, he’s not consistent. He is a dirty player though which would help, but he’s not a good representative of USA basketball and definitely would give us a bad name. He’s like Barkley without being charming or funny.

  9. John says:

    No wonder Blake Griffin got hurt, he’s scrimmaging against Demarcus Cousin.

    • Common Sense says:

      that’s a darn good point. Demarcus Cousins has no place on this scrimmage team. Everyone knows he’s unprofessional, everyone knows he hates blake griffin, everyone knows he’s jealous that Griffin is better than him. Even Coach K and Colanjelo said that he doesn’t belong. Take him off the scrimmage squad. once he proves to be in the discussion then you can bring him in to play with these people. But Griffins injury was just a matter of time. He hurt it a while ago. I’m glad it happened in the US instead of in some other country, and I’m glad it happened now. He won’t play through the injury in a practice setting but if it was a game, he would finish the game, then it wouldn’t be 8 weeks it be way worse. God Speed Griffin. Next year is your year.

  10. Roberto says:

    Yeah, to paraphrase Rome, Griffin is a dunk and rebound guy.

    Davis is as tall as Griffin, so the team can keep a big–the issue I think is more one of strength and toughness. Griffin is 251lbs. with very little body fat. Davis is 220 but still seems pretty fit.

    Plus the unibrow should fit right in with international play…

  11. Greg says:

    I wonder who will play power forward for team USA… This is just amazing that they only have three bigs… I wonder why they not substitue Harden for Boozer or Millsap

  12. sten says:

    gasol shouldnt do that

  13. Marco Polo says:

    NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO :(:(…. i like to watch blake griffin ‘s dunk :(

  14. Lebert says:

    Despise that injury! I’ll supposed to watch team USA just for Blake Griffin”s highlights cause winning is not a problem for them wtf just happened!

  15. bystander says:

    Too bad for Griffin. But still, USA has a great team. I believe they should really include younger players to prepare them as the “old-timers” are already getting a bit older.

  16. Wow says:

    hope it is not KD,KB or LBJ got hurt . . . or it is all over for TEAM USA