Nuggets vet dubs newly retired former star teammate a "quitter" in postgame interview

Miami Heat v Denver Nuggets
Miami Heat v Denver Nuggets / Jamie Schwaberow/GettyImages

It was all smiles in Denver on Sunday afternoon as the Nuggets were coming off another impressive playoff victory over the Los Angeles Lakers on Saturday night. The Nuggets seemed to mostly pick up where they left off against the Lakers, earning their ninth straight win in the matchup 114-103.

One Nugget who may not have been expected to play much - if at all - was DeAndre Jordan. Jordan came in for some spot duty off the bench at center and played his part admirably. He contributed 4 points, 2 rebounds, a block, and a steal in 8 minutes, including sinking a pair of unlikely free throws.

It’s nice to see Jordan able to provide some solid bench minutes in a pinch, and he came with the jokes on Sunday. First Jordan stated that his playoff routine meant taking a break from drinking wine, “which sucks” he joked.

Blake Griffin retires from basketball

But then Jordan was asked about his former teammate Blake Griffin. The former all-star and MVP candidate announced his retirement on Tuesday after an excellent 14-year NBA career. A big part of that career was playing alongside Jordan to make up the frontcourt of the Los Angeles Clippers in the early 2010s.

The two big men were both high-flying dunkers, and were two of the key figures, along with Chris Paul, of the “lob city” era in LA. So, of course, Jordan had a lot to say about his long-time running mate. 

DeAndre Jordan calls Griffin a quitter

Naturally, Jordan opened his remarks on Griffin by saying, “First off, Blake’s a quitter, can’t believe that guy”. It was a funny and lighthearted moment, as Jordan was obviously making a joke. He then went on to reflect on Griffin as a player and a human being, and the bond the two formed on and off the court.

It was a feel-good interview for DeAndre, who should be coming off a high after playing well. It’s also a reminder that Jordan is no spring chicken himself, and he likely doesn’t have a lot more seasons in him. Hopefully, he can continue to be a great veteran leader for the Nuggets and can provide a spark off the bench when needed.