Beyond the weight jokes and mentions of fathering more kids than a small orphanage, Shawn Kemp remains one of the most explosive and unique players the NBA has ever seen. The filmmaking crew who provided the world SonicsGate, an in-depth and exposing look into how Seattle lost its beloved franchise to Oklahoma City, let loose of outtake footage including Kemp speaking on the comparisons to Blake Griffin.
On paper, and just looking and styles of play, it’s obvious as to why Griffin correlates to The Reign Man. And now with Chris Paul at his disposal – arguably the world’s best point guard – relating Blake and CP3 to the modern day version of Kemp and Gary Payton seems appropriate in some aspects. Well, that’s at least until you ask Shawn for his two cents. An admitted fan of Blake, Kemp expresses doubt in Blake’s true power of his dunks and notes many of the lobs Paul and Griff connect on are not dunks, rather “slap-ins.”
Right or wrong, the response appears more deep-rooted in preserving the legacy he has on the league as its most violent dunker. And maybe that results from stubbornness or the fact Kemp may actually have a point. Regardless, Blake Griffin excites this new generation of fans in the same vein Shawn did nearly 20 years ago when he and the Sonics found themselves in the position as one of the league’s most talented and “must-see” teams; another interesting parallel to the overall dynamic of each player’s situation.
It just appears foolish not to appreciate the power and beauty of both games. You know, almost as if Blake’s has to be thrown under the bus to show respect towards Kemp’s. The only real difference (or one worth noting here) is Chris Gattling luckily not having to deal with the wrath of social media after Shawn ripped his soul right out of his chest following hands down one of the best poster dunks in NBA history. In other words, Kemp’s dismissal does very little to remove Timofey Mozgov and Kendrick Perkins from the wrong end of classic YouTube clips.