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Volume 25 No. 28
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Slam Dance: Blake Griffin Claims Commercial Focus On Dunks Overshadows Overall Game

Clippers F Blake Griffin has long been a Kia endorser, but he claims his experience filming commercials for the automaker "left him conflicted about his marketability," according to Lee Jenkins of SI. Griffin said, "I wanted to be a complete player, and I felt like the dunks started to overshadow other parts of my game. I feel like that's all that was being showcased." Jenkins notes as part of his deal with Kia, Griffin "insisted on creative input and agreed to ads only where he could make fun of himself." He said, "I can't be driving to the arena with some voice-over going ... 'The game doesn't drive me. I drive the game.'" Meanwhile, Griffin detailed his famous jump over a Kia in the '11 NBA Slam Dunk Contest, saying he initially wanted to "jump over a convertible with four teammates inside." Griffin: "The NBA kind of messed up that plan. They wanted me to jump over a Kia, because it's a league sponsor, but the Optima is a huge car. I could only do the hood, so it didn't look as cool." Kia signed Griffin to an endorsement deal shortly after the dunk contest. Griffin said, "People thought I did the dunk to get the deal. I was bummed about that" (SI, 11/13 issue).