Blake Griffin won’t respond to Klay Thompson’s flopping comments

Blake GriffinThe Clippers and Golden State Warriors have engaged in one of the better NBA rivalries in recent years. Not only have they been two of the better teams in the Western Conference the last few seasons, but they always seem to mix it up when they play, which makes their upcoming first-round playoff series even more intriguing.

The teams fought during and after a game in December. Earlier in the season, the Clippers refused to hold chapel with the Dubs.

Much like when he plays the Thunder, Blake Griffin seems to be in the middle of physical play against the Warriors. And he might have some extra hate towards them after they clowned him for missing a 3-pointer last season.

Things were stirred again this week when Golden State’s Klay Thompson called out Griffin for flopping during a radio interview Wednesday.

“He is a good guy off the court but he probably just … I mean … plays pretty physical and flops a little bit,” Thompson said on The Wheelhouse on 95.7 The Game radio in San Francisco.

“He flairs his arm around so you know you might catch a random elbow or something that doesn’t you know rub off too well on guys,” Thompson said of Griffin. “He’s kind of like a bull in a china shop, kind of out of control sometimes. And then you do just see him flop sometimes like how can a guy that big and strong flop that much.

“I can see how that gets under people’s skin and be frustrating to play against.”

Blake has long had a reputation for being a flopper, though other guys like Karl Malone think Griffin is just a victim of a bunch of cheap shots because he’s so big and so good.

Blake has been made aware of Thompson’s comments, but he’s not biting.

ESPN LA’s Ramona Shelburne says Griffin refused to engaged in a verbal war when asked about the comments Thursday.

“This isn’t my thing. I play basketball. I don’t want to get into back and forth,” Griffin said, per Shelburne.

That’s probably smart of him. He’ll have plenty of time to do his talking on the court in what should be a great series that begins on Saturday.

Below is Thompson’s interview with The Game. The comments come in the final minute when Thompson was asked what about Blake ticks off opponents:

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Jeff Van Gundy picking Rockets to win NBA title

Dwight Howard RocketsAnyone who has listened to Jeff Van Gundy call NBA games for ABC/ESPN this season or heard him providing analysis on the radio knows that the former Houston Rockets coach is a big backer of his former team.

Van Gundy has long supported Dwight Howard as a defensive stalwart and has believed in the Rockets all season long. He stood by them even when they had some struggles early in the season. So it’s not too much of a surprise to hear that JVG is picking the Rockets to win the NBA championship.

“I’m going to pick the Western Conference winner, and I’m going to stick with Houston,” Van Gundy said during a conference call, according to the Houston Chronicle.

“They play fast, they score easily, and they have a talent in James Harden who is as hard to guard as anybody not named Kevin Durant or LeBron James,” Van Gundy said. “They have a center (Dwight Howard) who gives them a force in the paint, who can rebound, and then they have one of the best competitors in (point guard Patrick) Beverley; I just love his mentality in attacking each and every opponent. I think Houston has as good a chance as anyone to come out of the West.”

The Rockets are the No. 4 seed in the Western Conference and face Portland in the first round. If they’re lucky enough to advance, the road will be tough; they wouldn’t have home court against the Spurs, Thunder or Clippers. But that’s not stopping JVG from sticking with Houston.

“I really do believe the Western Conference winner will win it, and I have to stick with who I think will win the West. You could convince me about San Antonio and Oklahoma City and the Clippers as well, because all of them are really good.”

Even if Houston is not the team to win it all, this is pretty noteworthy because Van Gundy thinks the Miami Heat will be unseated as champs. The Heat are looking for their fourth straight Finals appearance and third straight title. Accomplishing both goals would be extremely difficult and impressive.

Jabari Parker will enter NBA draft

jabari-parker-dukeJabari Parker has decided to give up his final three years of eligibility at Duke and enter the NBA draft. The 19-year-old consensus first-team All-American announced his decision on Thursday in a column he wrote for Sports Illustrated.

“On Tuesday I thanked Coach K for preparing me to become a professional,” Parker wrote. “I expressed my appreciation to him for helping me grow so much as a person and a basketball player. And he reminded me how successful a season it was for our team and me personally. I told him that he is always going to be my coach. But the time has come for me to join the best basketball league in the world.”

Parker averaged 19.3 points and 8.8 rebounds per game in his freshman season with the Blue Devils. He had one of his worst games of the season in an upset loss to Mercer in the NCAA Tournament, but he is still expected to be a lottery pick. He said the difficult decision ultimately came down to how short an NBA career can be.

“My father, Sonny, played in the NBA. I know firsthand that the career span of a pro basketball player is finite,” Parker said. “The lucky ones play until their mid-30s. With that perspective, I shrink my professional career with each year that I remain in college. It’s ironic, but true.”

After Duke’s season came to a disappointing end, many speculated that Parker might return to play another season under Coach K. As Seth Davis put it during his interview with Larry Brown Sports earlier this month, there are worse things than being a sophomore in college.

With a 6-foot-8, 235-pound frame, Parker has a great NBA body. There’s no reason to believe he won’t thrive with a bit of fine-tuning.

Nick Young says what he’ll do to Iggy Azalea ‘shouldn’t be legal,’ possibly leaks Mike D’Antoni’s firing

Nick-Young-drunkThe NBA regular season has ended, and the Los Angeles Lakers are not in the playoffs. That means it’s party time for Nick Young. On Wednesday night, TMZ caught up with Young and it appeared as though he had just enjoyed several cocktails. He was heading home with his girlfriend Iggy Azalea, and all indications were that s— was about to get weird.

The interview started out fantastically when Young was asked about people saying Pau Gasol should have addressed the fans before the Lakers’ last home game instead of him.

“I am the star,” Young said. “I’m Swaggy P.”

He then turned the discussion to Azalea.

“You see what I’m going in this car with?” Swaggy P asked. “What I’m gonna do with this shouldn’t be legal.”

And before he got in the car and drove away, TMZ’s reporter was able to ask one more basketball question. He asked Young what he thinks about people calling for Mike D’Antoni’s job.

“Damn man, that’s a shame what happened to D’Antoni,” Young said.

Granted, Young appeared to be completely wasted. He might have just been saying D’Antoni has been put in a bad situation, but he spoke in the past tense and made it sound like D’Antoni is out. Of course, that wouldn’t surprise anyone.

All in all, we give Swaggy P’s interview an enthusiastic A+.

Gregg Popovich takes no questions in season-ending press conference

Gregg PopovichGregg Popovich said goodbye to the regular season on Wednesday night the only way he knows how — by hardly giving writers and reporters the time of day. After his team lost a meaningless game to the Los Angeles Lakers and finished with the best record in the Western Conference, the San Antonio Spurs coach said just 46 words.

“We had a good regular season and now the postseason starts,” Pop told reporters. “The first game is at noon on Sunday and we will see who it is. The two teams that are playing right now, so I am going to go watch them. You guys take care.”

And that was that. Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express-News posted a photo of the entire transcript on Twitter. It looks like a second-grade essay.

Is taking no questions at all better than answering a question with just two words? Man I love this guy.

H/T SB Nation

Rajon Rondo wears shoes honoring Boston Marathon bombing victims


Rajon Rondo did not play in the Boston Celtics’ season finale against the Washington Wizards on Wednesday, but the star point guard still managed to make a loud statement with his footwear. A day after the one-year anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombings, Rondo wore sneakers that paid tribute to the victims.

The shoes, which Rondo said he was donating to the One Fund after the game, featured the initials of victims written across the sides and top. They also had the date of the attack — April 15, 2013 — and “Boston Strong” etched across the tongue in the form of a runner’s number.


Hat’s off to Rondo. Awesome tribute.

Photos: Twitter/Abby Chin, Facebook/Rondo

Kobe Bryant reportedly on vacation in France before Lakers’ season ends

Kobe BryantThe Los Angeles Lakers are wrapping up a disastrous season on Wednesday night in San Antonio, and Kobe Bryant did not want to be around to witness it.

The Los Angeles Times reports that Bryant took off with his family for a vacation in France either Tuesday or Wednesday.

By contrast, Pau Gasol made the trip to San Antonio with the team even though he’s not playing because of his vertigo. Both players are considered team leaders.

Additionally, The Times says Bryant was heard muttering his unhappiness about being associated with such a bad season during the team photo.

Perhaps word of Kobe’s European excursion becoming news made it back to No. 24, because Bryant sent out this tweet expressing his attitude about dealing with the bad season:

He’s right — that’s about all you can do. And, of course, the Lakers will hope to get a good draft pick and turn it into a winner.

But it’s hard not to view Kobe as a frontrunner after reading this.

Chest bump to Pro Basketball Talk