Reporting From Atlanta — He was hardly in the mood to celebrate All-Star status, not after the Clippers lost to the Hawks by a point.
But Blake Griffin on Friday managed to reflect on his journey and his official arrival, joining elite NBA company. He is the first rookie All-Star selection since Yao Ming in 2003.
"It means a lot to me," said Griffin, who sat out last season because of knee surgery. "The best part is I owe all of this to my teammates and to our coaching staff. Everybody involved in trying to help me get back.
"Without them, I wouldn't be anywhere. So I share this with them."
He said he didn't have a feeling, one way or the other, on whether he would get in.
"To be honest, I didn't put a lot of thought into it," he said. "Not that I didn't care, but it was out of my hands. It was one of those things. I appreciate being voted in."
His low-key handling of the honor didn't fool his best friend and teammate DeAndre Jordan. Eric Bledsoe was the one who told Griffin on the team plane, Griffin said.
"You could tell on the inside, he was screaming," Jordan said. " 'Thanks guys, thanks.' Once he got into his room, he was probably bouncing off the walls."
Jordan dismissed the criticism of Griffin being named an All-Star.
"He really deserves it, despite what other people think," Jordan said. "Blake is a rookie. He's been playing unbelievable basketball this year, despite our record. He's made me better. Bledsoe better, Al-Farouq [Aminu], Ryan Gomes, Randy Foye."