Clippers say they’ll protect Blake Griffin
Blake Griffin said he’s “sick” of the hard fouls he’s been taking. Notably, there was Jason Smith’s leveling hit on Griffin. More recently, Robin Lopez was ejected Thursday for a hard shot he delivered on Griffin. There’s also a bunch more examples.
The constant beating Griffin’s been getting has led some in the national media to criticize the Clippers for not protecting one of their superstars. It’s an opinion that Vinny Del Negro doesn’t understand.
“What do all these people think we should do? Do they know the rules?” Del Negro said, according to the Orange County Register. “…Of course, we’re going to do whatever we can to protect Blake or any player, but there’s also a time and place to do it. You can only get so many technical fouls. …It’s up to the league to step in to put enough suspensions and fines on people when it happens.”
Of the players who have rung Griffin’s bell, Smith has been the only one slapped with a suspension. Meanwhile, DeAndre Jordan vowed to invalidate the assessment that pundits such as Charles Barkley have given his team.
“If [Griffin] gets fouled, I can’t go punch somebody in the nose. I can’t do that,” Jordan said. “But throughout the course of the game, other fouls happen to other players on the other team. If they happen to be hard fouls, they happen to be hard fouls.
“We’re going to protect our teammates, no matter who it is.”
The hard fouling may come from the fact that Griffin attacks the basket with some much power. Sometimes a hard foul is the only thing that can stop him. There’s another notion, which I tend to agree with more, that suggests the fouls come from players being sick and tired of Griffin’s over-the-top theatrics after dunks and constant flopping. Either way, all of this could likely be avoided if he wasn’t such an abysmal free-throw shooter.
Photo credit: Mark J. Rebilas-US PRESSWIRE