Blake Griffin has taken a beating this season, and it has hardly gone unnoticed. Brutal fouls like this one have inspired Griffin to speak out against the way opponents are defending him, and you can’t blame him for wanting the referees to do a better job of protecting him. While Griffin’s Clippers teammates have vowed to protect him going forward, Kobe Bryant says he would handle things differently if he was getting pummeled the way Griffin has been.
“I’d smack the f*** out of somebody,” Bryant told ESPNLosAngeles.com on Wednesday. “I’ve known him for a while and he’s a really nice guy so I don’t know if he’d want to do that. But I would. I would’ve done it early in the year.
“At some point, you have to protect yourself. I’ve had to do it many times in my career. I’ve seen Shaq do it many times, too. Some guys you just don’t mess with. I saw Shaq crack somebody his first year. I did it my first few years. Sometimes people feel like they can take advantage of you, they hit you and this, that, and the other.
“Sometimes you have to say, ‘Look, you’re not going to do this to me. I’ll take two games but you’re not going to put my health at risk by injuring me potentially. It’s not going to happen.’”
Now that the regular season has ended and the Clippers are hoping to make a playoff push, it would be in Griffin’s best interest to not take Kobe’s advice until next season. The last thing L.A. needs is to lose their best player for a playoff game or two. But in theory, Kobe could be right. If the league isn’t going to do enough to protect Blake going forward, it might benefit him to show a little more fight and stand up for himself on the court.
H/T Pro Basketball Talk
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