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Blake Griffin.

Blake Griffin admits Jerry West was a big reason why he stayed with the Clippers

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After Chris Paul decided to leave the Los Angeles Clippers in the summer, there were concerns that Blake Griffin was going to follow suit in free agency.

Fortunately for the franchise, that didn't happen and the power forward instead chose to remain in L.A. and signed a huge five-year, $173 million contract.

As well as the max deal, there were several reasons why Griffin decided to stay with the team that he's spent his entire NBA career with.

In a recent interview with Shams Charania of The Vertical, the 28-year-old explained how Hall of Famer Jerry West was the biggest factor in his decision.

"Jerry had a major voice to me, and he's had an influence in coming and working on the culture here," he said. "This franchise had unfinished business, and I had unfinished business here.

"We had unfinished business together and I valued that. We laid it out there that no matter what was going on around us, both sides hadn't accomplished what we set out for. I couldn't abandon this now."

West left his position as an executive board member with the Golden State Warriors in June to become a consultant with the Clippers.

New Orleans Pelicans v Golden State Warriors

'The Logo' may have failed to convince Paul to stay with the team but was influential in keeping Blake and the big man is ready to fill the shoes left by his former teammate in terms of leadership.

Now a veteran in the league, the five-time All-Star is determined to carry the team on his back and wants to take on the challenge.

"I embrace the challenge," Griffin said. "With Chris gone, it changed our dynamic. For me, of course, I can look at it: I have the responsibility on my shoulder - all season. I have to do it.

"When Chris sat out, I was able to show it. I want to prove that I can sustain that style of play. Chris was one person, but we also lost J.J. (Redick), who I knew going into the free-agency process wouldn’t be back, Jamal (Crawford), who I thought we’d keep this summer but we had to move him around.

Los Angeles Clippers v Los Angeles Lakers

"So part of our core guys separated and that affected us. It changed the philosophy and we had to be accepting of the challenge."

The athletic star has put his words into action to begin this season as he's inspired his team to an unbeaten start in their first four games.

He's currently averaging 26.3 points and 9.3 rebounds and has contributed some highlight plays, including this buzzer-beater to beat the Portland Trail Blazers in the last game:

Griffin is making the Clippers faithful quickly forget about CP3 and is on a mission to make this his year and show that his team will still be a threat.

Topics:
Blake Griffin
L.A. Clippers
Pacific Division
Western Conference
NBA
Chris Paul
DeAndre Jordan

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