When Blake Griffin met Chris Paul: A look back at when their paths first crossed in Oklahoma

BLAKE GRIFFIN -- When Blake Griffin was a teen-ager at Oklahoma Christian School, he was just like most everyone else in Oklahoma City, newly smitten with the NBA and a certain Hornets point guard who is now his Los Angeles Clippers teammate.
By John Rohde, Staff Writer, jrohde@opubco.com Published: March 20, 2012
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When watching the Clippers, Taylor said he immediately noticed Paul's impact on Blake's overall effectiveness.

“Especially early on,” Taylor said. “It was so evident how much easier everything was for Blake, for DeAndre (Jordan), for all the guards getting open shots. Everything flows through the point guard and it's crazy to see the development of that team over the last two years just from getting a couple of players.”

Taylor knows what it's like to have a great point guard as a teammate. He was drafted No. 48 overall by the Phoenix Suns in 2009, the same draft during which baby brother Blake was selected No. 1. With the Suns, Taylor played alongside pending Hall of Famer Steve Nash.

“Guys go there and their careers are rejuvenated because they get to play with him,” Taylor said. “It's amazing the numbers they put up while they're playing with Steve Nash.”

Blake and Taylor's father, Tommy Griffin, was an Oklahoma high school head coach for 27 seasons. He won nine state championships, including four straight at OCS with Blake, the first two with Taylor playing alongside.

Not even Tommy can quantify how much Paul might mean to Blake's pro career.

“It's hard to put into some kind of exact measurement,” Tommy said of Paul's worth as a teammate. “He's the type of guy who can find you, but he can also score. Once he penetrates, the reason he can dish it off is because he draws more than one person (to defend him). With his court awareness and his sight, he can find a lot of open people.”

Taylor recalls his brother's reaction after the Paul trade was approved.

“He was giddy, to say the least,” Taylor said.

Tommy couldn't remember exactly what Blake said about the trade. “He had nothing but positive things to say,” said Tommy, who chuckled before adding, “I think you'll find the same thing said by most people when it comes to Chris.”