Count Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin among the few NBA stars who are not interested in playing overseas during a lengthy lockout.
While household names such as Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant, Dwight Howard and Dwyane Wade have publicly expressed their desire to compete internationally if the NBA work stoppage doesn't get settled soon, Griffin isn't ready to cross the water just yet.
“I haven't really looked into going over there and playing for a team,” Griffin said in a phone interview with The Oklahoman. “But you never say never. I don't know what kind of situations are out there. We'll see how the end of this offseason shapes up, and I'll probably make a decision from there.”
Griffin, the reigning Rookie of the Year and Slam Dunk champ, said he is optimistic that the league will reach a new deal on a collective bargaining agreement so the season is not lost.
“I hope so,” Griffin said. “I know all the players want to be playing. We don't want to miss the season, so hopefully it does get done and everything goes how it's supposed to.”
Griffin said he would only have interest in playing overseas under the right circumstances.
“If the opportunity is right and everything fell into place,” Griffin said. “If it's a good situation I wouldn't be opposed to it. But a lot of things would have to happen and I'd have to be completely comfortable. It's hard to say, ‘Yeah, I would definitely do it.' But at the same time, I'm not going to say I would never consider it.”
New Jersey point guard Deron Williams recently became the first star to sign a contract with an international club. Williams, however, has a clause in the deal that allows him to return to the NBA as soon as the labor dispute is settled. Representatives for Bryant, the L.A. Lakers star, reportedly are in talks with the same Turkish team Williams has signed with.
Griffin said other players who have expressed interest are seriously considering it.
“I know some are for sure. And some guys will,” Griffin said. “But you've got to realize what's worth it for each individual player. Everybody's different. Everybody has different needs. I don't think the majority of guys will but for sure some will.”