Blake Griffin might have finally reached his breaking point. After taking a hard foul from the Utah Jazz’s Trevor Booker and instigating a minor scuffle last night, the Los Angeles Clippers superstar says he might retaliate against similar plays in the future.
Here’s the sequence that prompted Griffin’s not-to-thinly veiled threat:
Frankly, this doesn’t seem like anything more than what happens to Griffin on an almost nightly basis. Booker, burly and physical in his own right, makes a hard play on the ball to prevent a typical Clippers highlight. And while he definitely makes his shot count, it’s pretty clear there was no dirty intent behind Booker’s foul – he even briefly grabs Griffin to stop him from tumbling to the floor before getting charged.
Still, we certainly understand Blake’s frustration. Plays like this involving him are all too commonplace. And according to Griffin, he’s had enough of such overtly physical contact.
Via ESPN’s Arash Markazi:
“I was going to, but then I thought, ‘It’s preseason,’ ” Griffin said when asked about retaliating. “It’s not worth it. That’s not the person I want to waste it on.”
When Griffin was asked if he feels close to retaliating if the hard fouls continue, he said, “Yeah, probably. I’m not going to do it for no reason or if it’s not warranted and I didn’t feel that was.”
That’s a pretty awesome response by Blake. Not only is he shading Booker, but also warning opposing players and league officials that further reaction is imminent if he continues to get fouled so harshly.
Of course, there’s a sizable portion of fans that believe Griffin gives as good as he gets. A majority of them surely resides in Memphis, Oklahoma City, and the Bay Area. We don’t necessarily agree with that assessment. While it’s true that Blake is a very physical player, he rarely resorts to potentially dirty fouls on or off the ball. What normally happens instead is that he becomes entangled with an opponent and a wrestling match ensues.
Those are two different things, and the latter is owed mostly to Blake’s surreal combination of strength and quickness. There’s just not many ways to stop him other grabbing and pulling, and Griffin will do the same when it’s done to him. But if last night’s situation were reversed and it was Booker – also a high-flyer – rising for a dunk, it’s safe to say Griffin wouldn’t have exercised such physicality.
So when will his retaliation come? Let’s check the calendar. We see two very likely possibilities: Los Angeles’ season-opener against Kendrick Perkins, Steven Adams, and the Thunder on October 30; and an away game featuring the Warriors’ Andrew Bogut, David Lee, and Draymond Green one week later.
While a legitimate fracas would prove entertaining in the moment, the league doesn’t need outright violence on the court. Ideally, Griffin’s pointed sentiment would make the NBA office level a whispered warning to teams that would go to preventing the types of fouls that he and LeBron James so often take. Until then, though, don’t be surprised when Blake makes good on his word.
(Video via watchnba20142015)
What do you think?
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