Taylor Griffin was born on April 18, 1986, in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, to Tommy Griffin, who is of Afro-Haitian descent, and to Gail Griffin, who is Caucasian. His father was a basketball center and track standout at NAIA Northwestern Oklahoma State University. Griffin and his younger brother, Blake Griffin, were home-schooled by their mother from first grade until Taylor was in the tenth grade and Blake was in eighth. The Griffin brothers are bi-racial, their father being African-American and their mother being Caucasian.
Blake and Taylor Griffin played at Oklahoma Christian School under their father, who was the head coach. The brothers played together during the 2003–04 and 2004–05 high school seasons, winning two Oklahoma 2A state high school basketball championships.
Considered a three-star recruit by Rivals.com, Griffin was listed as the No. 34 power forward and the No. 141 player in the nation in 2005.
With his brother Blake, Taylor Griffin helped lead Oklahoma to the Elite Eight of the 2009 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament. As a senior, he averaged 9.6 points, 5.8 rebounds, and 1.3 steals a game with 53.6% field goal shooting, and 35.7% three-point field goal shooting.
He was selected by the Phoenix Suns with the 48th overall pick of the 2009 NBA draft. He joined the Suns for the 2009 NBA Summer League. On August 17, 2009, he signed his first professional contract with the Suns. Griffin was assigned multiple times to the Iowa Energy during his rookie season.
He re-joined the Suns for the 2010 NBA Summer League. On July 26, 2010, he was waived by the Suns. In August 2010, he signed with Belgacom Liège Basket of Belgium.
On December 10, 2011, he signed with the Charlotte Bobcats. However, he was waived on December 23. On January 9, 2012, he was acquired by the Dakota Wizards.
In November 2012, he was acquired by the Santa Cruz Warriors. In November 2013, he was reacquired by the Warriors. On January 3, 2014, he was waived by the Warriors due to a season-ending injury. On November 3, 2014, he was again reacquired by the Warriors. On April 26, 2015, he won the D-League championship with the Warriors. He was selected to play on the NBA D-League Select team during the 2015 NBA Summer League in Las Vegas, NV.
On August 13, 2015, Griffin signed with Pallacanestro Trapani of the Italian Serie A2.