One of the great pleasures of this young season has been watching Blake Griffin(notes) terrorize opposing big men with his jaw-dropping athleticism. After missing all of last season with a knee injury, Griffin has seen no drop in the athleticism that made him such an amazing prospect coming out of Oklahoma. He eats faces around the rim: Last week, we featured both missed and completed Griffin dunks on BDL, and there have been many more like those already this year.
Saturday night, Griffin eviscerated the Knicks for 44 points, 15 rebounds and seven assists in the Clippers' 124-115 loss to the Knicks. His performance was only rivaled by New York's Amar'e Stoudemire(notes), who tallied 39 points and 11 boards in the win.
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Yet the unquestioned highlight of the night for both players occurred at a dead ball. As seen in the video above, Griffin threw down an awesome jam over fellow rookie Timofey Mozgov(notes). Moments later, while Stoudemire was at the line, the Knicks star acknowledged Griffin's posterization with a knowing glance of respect.
With most other players, this moment would just be nice. But when one of the most athletic big men in league history decides to credit his stylistic doppelganger, it's historic, not just pleasant. It's as if Stoudemire is making it clear to everyone that he and Griffin belong in the same sentence. You could also call it a sort of passing of the torch, except Amar'e still looks like he has a lot of dunks left in him.
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Remember this moment for as long as you can. All it's missing is Shawn Kemp looking down upon both players in approval from a luxury box while eating an entire cheesecake with his bare hands.
(Video via Gian Casimiro)