The Los Angeles Clippers made the difficult but likely prudent decision to trade Blake Griffin just a few months into his new five-year, $171 million contract.

“Don’t be afraid to make that tough decision if you need to,” Steve Ballmer recalled West telling him.

“No one wants to do that, particularly with someone like Blake Griffin,” West says now. “It was very difficult for everyone, especially Steve, because he really liked Blake personally. But this franchise was really stuck. There was nowhere for it to go. You have to figure out how far away you really are and how we can get there.”