NBA all-star and new Brooklyn Net Blake Griffin dropped by Late Night With Seth Meyers on Monday, and while the host and the hoop legend talked some basketball (Griffin loves New York, the Nets organization, the fans, etc), the two spent some time talking comedy. Specifically, the time that the late Norm MacDonald crashed then-rookie Griffin’s 2010 Rookie Of The Year Press Conference. And while Griffin was then a Clipper, it took David Letterman’s intentionally dumb questions to fellow Net Kevin Durant this week for someone to dig up the old clip of Norm asking his own deadpan nonsense question to Griffin.
In the clip, Macdonald is shown surprising Griffin by grabbing the NBA TV mic and asking the newly crowned Rookie Of The Year what Meyers termed “a perfect Norm Macdonald joke.” With the real reporters tittering nervously around him, MacDonald deadpans to Griffin, “There’s kind of a curse with Rookie Of The Year—nobody’s ever repeated it.” Griffin, recalling his surprise at seeing “the funniest guy ever” in the press scrum, did some decent deadpanning himself at Norm’s implied challenge, replying that, while he hadn’t thought about that fact, he’d try his best next season.
For noted stand-up fan Griffin, his warm acquaintanceship with Macdonald saw the NBA star recalling how Macdonald invited him on his Comedy Central show, and how Norm, in turn, appeared at a charity event hosted by Griffin. (That said, Griffin chose Adam Sandler in response to Meyers’ question of which comedian most closely approximates Griffin’s game.) Agreeing with Meyers that Macdonald’s was “a perfect joke that has been there for the taking, forever,” Griffin revealed himself to be yet another of us mourning the too-soon death of the former SNL star with appreciative laughter. As for Griffin himself, Meyers asked about noted ref-baiter Griffin’s on-court feuds with those darn referees, with Griffin admitting that he’s transformed his prior line of ref taunting into a more collegial brand of gentle joshing. Someone will have to ask the hard-working NBA referee corps if it’s better or worse that the cheeky power forward has shifted from outright abuse to a running series of “ref-based puns.”