Published August 02, 2011
| Associated Press
Griffin hosted the opening day of his first annual basketball camp for kids in Oklahoma City on Tuesday, then squeezed in a private one-hour workout afterward with the hope of improving on his Rookie of the Year season.
Griffin has also been busy with appearances for a growing number of sponsors after his leap over the hood of a car to win the NBA's slam dunk title, and last weekend he was part of his brother's wedding in Tulsa.
"I haven't stopped working out really since May," Griffin said. "It's been every day, sneaking it in whenever I can." Griffin says it's frustrating for him to think that the NBA games may be interrupted after his first season playing in the league. Griffin missed all of the 2009-10 season with a broken kneecap after he had been the No. 1 draft pick out of Oklahoma.
"Now my first three seasons, I could play 82 games," Griffin said. "So, we'll see what happens."
The NBA and its players returned to the bargaining table Monday, but Commissioner David Stern left saying he was no longer optimistic about the process. On Tuesday, the league took two actions against the NBA players association, filing an unfair labor practice charge with the National Labor Relations Board and a lawsuit in federal district court in New York.
Neither team proposed a new collective bargaining agreement during the negotiations Monday.
"Hopefully from here on out, it's a little better," Griffin said, adding: "I think things will start to move a little faster once the season gets closer and closer."
The regular season is scheduled to start on Nov. 1, and training camps typically open about a month before then. That leaves little time to reach a deal between two sides that seem miles apart.
"You just stay ready really, That's really all I can do — pace myself, stay ready," Griffin said. "I have to take a little time off every now and then to make sure your body's going to be fresh, because you can't be working out for six months straight. It is tough, but at the same time you've got to put in the work."
Griffin led all rookies with 22.5 points and 12.1 rebounds per game last season, becoming the first rookie All-Star since Yao Ming in 2003. He called that first season a "pretty good one, but I'm looking forward to next year already and getting better."
Griffin said he wants to improve his all-around game, particularly his shooting, after gaining the most notoriety for the slam dunk contest.
"I think people recognize me for that a lot more than for a lot of other stuff, and that's fine. That's what happens," he said. "But my whole goal is to be an overall player and to be more than one-dimensional."
For now, at least, Griffin said he isn't joining other NBA stars in seeking opportunities to play overseas if there is an extended lockout. Nets point guard Deron Williams was the first big name to make such a move, signing with a Turkish team.
"I'm not opposed to playing overseas but right now it's not something I'm worried about or putting any thought into it," Griffin said.
While he's back home in Oklahoma City, Griffin will host a four-day basketball camp he says is "structured to really get better and not just play in a bunch of games" — something he didn't have access to while growing up — and a charity bowling event Friday night to benefit Stand Up To Cancer and a college scholarship named after Wilson Holloway, a high school teammate who died of Hodgkin's lymphoma earlier this year.