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Blake Griffin First Clipper On Sports Illustrated Cover In 11 Years

Now that the NBA lockout is over, it is time to get excited about professional basketball again, and there aren't many players in the NBA more exciting than Blake Griffin. The reigning Rookie of the Year has graced the cover of this week's Sports Illustrated for their NBA preview edition, making Griffin the first Los Angeles Clippers player to adorn the cover of SI since Darius Miles (yes, Darius Miles) since October 31, 2000.

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Blake-griffin-si_medium

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Griffin averaged 22.5 points and 12.1 rebounds per game last year, and provided a highlight reel unmatched in the league. He famously dunked over a car during the slam dunk contest, but that wasn't even his best dunk of the night. Plus, his in-game dunks were much more exciting throughout the year.

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Griffin leads a young core for the Clippers, along with Eric Gordon and DeAndre Jordan, on a team that looks to improve from a 32-50 season in 2010-2011. The NBA season is expected to start on Christmas, with training camp opening in about eight days.

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For more news and Griffin and the Clippers, be sure to read Clips Nation.