Kevin Durant, Derrick Rose, Blake Griffin share cover of NBA 2K13 (Photo)

NBA All-Stars Kevin Durant, Derrick Rose, and Blake Griffin share the cover of NBA 2K13, which is the latest edition in the video game’s popular series that is due out in October.

The three are considered part of the “new dynasty,” and were chosen because they “represent the NBA well,” according to 2K Sports’ VP of Marketing.

Darren Rovell also points out that the cover choice continues the streak of LeBron James never appearing on the cover of a video game. If there was any time for LeBron to appear on the cover of a game, you would figure it would be after he just won his first title.

Good choices by 2K Sports. Unless knee injuries become problems for Griffin and Rose, the three should be mainstays in the league for the next 10 years.

Blake Griffin not concerned with being called a flopper

Blake Griffin has been called a flopper this year, but he says the new reputation doesn’t bother him. In April, DeMarcus Cousins called Griffin an actor. Last week during the playoffs, Chris Webber warned Griffin about flopping too much. Griffin responded to the allegations during an interview on Monday.

“It’s never really something that I’ve had a problem with, but all of the sudden now it’s kind of come up,” Griffin said on The Dan Patrick Show. “So I’m just going to keep playing the way I’ve been taught and playing the game and it’ll all go away I think. It’s just kind of a phase or a bandwagon that some people want to jump on.”

Asked if flopping was an individual or league-wide concern, Griffin said no.

“It’s not really a concern. I guess it depends on the individual but it’s not really a concern for me. Especially in the playoffs, guys are doing everything they can to get an extra possession or to get a stop, whatever it is. I’m not sure what David Stern feels, but it’s not a concern to me, really.”

Griffin also believes there’s a difference between acting too much.

“Oh yeah, there’s a fine line between completely overselling it and knowing how to draw a foul or this or that. I haven’t seen a lot of plays where guys have completely gone over the line. I honestly can’t think of that many times.”

There’s a huge difference between drawing a foul when you’re on defense and completely flopping, and Griffin has fallen under the latter category frequently. I just hope David Stern will address the issue next season like he indicated over the weekend. The last thing the NBA needs is more flopping.

Transcriptions via Sports Radio Interviews

Chris Webber warns Blake Griffin to stop flopping so much (Video)

Blake Griffin may be one of the most physical and ferocious players in the NBA, but he’s developing a reputation for being a flopper. Chris Webber played with known flopper Vlade Divac on the Sacramento Kings, and he understands that’s not a reputation a player wants. That’s why he warned Griffin about flopping so much after the All-Star forward acted to get a call in his favor during the third quarter of Game 4 between the Clippers and Grizzlies on Monday night.

“I would caution him to be careful of flopping. I played in the playoffs with teams that were known for floppers, and you do not get respect,” Webber said on TNT. “Flopping is not a plus in this game. … Coaches and GMs watch tape and send it in to the league. You do not want to be known as a flopper. You lose respect.

“I definitely would caution him on the over-exaggeration of embellishing getting hit out here on the court,” Webber said.

Webber actually put that all politely for Griffin. Blake probably thinks he has an excuse because he has been legitimately fouled hard this season and complained about it. Though Webber is trying to help, it may be too late. Griffin was called out by another player last month for acting too much, so his reputation may be sealed. Additionally, Charles Barkley also called out Griffin for flopping.

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Kobe Bryant says Blake Griffin should ‘smack the f*** out of somebody’

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
Photo credit: Mark J. Rebilas-US PRESSWIRE

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

Blake Griffin is ‘sick of taking hard hits’

Derrick Rose isn’t the only All-Star sick of the beating he’s been taking during games — Blake Griffin is, too. Speaking after the Clippers’ shootaround on Monday, Griffin told reporters he’s fed up taking hits from opposing players.

“I’m definitely sick of taking hard hits,” Griffin said, per the Orange County Register. “…There’s a point, I can’t remember what game it was, in my mind where I thought this is kind of ridiculous. I’m sick of it, but it’s going to keep on happening.

“It’s affected me this year a lot, especially with the referees,” he said. “I’m just getting frustrated and getting my self in trouble with officials.”

Griffin gets hacked quite a bit down low because he’s so powerful. He also has been subjected to dirty plays like the one from Jason Smith. Griffin thinks he’s fouled hard a lot like Derrick Rose because they both attack the rim, but he acknowledged if he were a better free throw shooter, teams might be more reluctant to send him to the line. At least he recognizes he can do something to improve the situation.

Meanwhile, DeMarcus Cousins is laughing at Griffin’s comments.

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Photo Credit: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-US PRESSWIRE

Blake Griffin misses open dunk (Video)

Blake Griffin makes highlight reels because of his prodigious dunks, not his JaVale McGee-like moments. But Griffin made an embarrassing blunder in the first quarter of the Clippers-Timberwolves game on Thursday that he’d like to forget. Griffin got a touch pass on a fast break and literally bricked a wide open dunk late in the first quarter. This wasn’t the first missed dunk from Griffin we’ve highlighted this season, nor was it his most embarrassing play. But clanking a dunk is simply unacceptable, especially for someone whose place on the list of greatest dunkers is being questioned.