Blake Griffin: basketball extraordinaire, high-flying dunking maniac, backboard cleaning monster, terrible actor. Griffin has earned the reputations for the first three titles on his business card, but he’s quickly qualifying for that last one. During Monday’s Grizzlies-Clippers Game Four, TNT analyst Chris Webber didn’t pull any punches following an embellishment by Griffin when he and Grizzlies center Marc Gasol were pursuing a loose ball.
Gasol’s arm appeared to have grazed Griffin’s face and Griffin acted as though he took an elbow to the schnoz. While it’s my personal opinion that it’s the officials’ job to weed through the flops and perhaps the NBA and NCAA need to pass a flopping foul, the embellishing needs to go away. Here’s Webber’s mini-rant on what Griffin is doing to himself.
“I think Blake Griffin is really playing hard and you have to love his effort tonight but I would caution him to be careful with flopping. I’ve played in these playoffs. The teams that were known for floppers do not get respect. Flopping is not a plus in this game. And what do I mean by flopping ? This is what I mean. You’re 270 pounds. The other guy is 300 pounds . It was not a blow to send you (to the floor). People watch tape. Coaches and GMs send tape into the league. You do not want to be known as a flopper. With him being so good he doesn’t need all the extra stuff. Everybody sees it. And you lose respect.”
New Orleans Hornets guard Jarrett Jack tweeted, “Hey @NBA refs stop falling for Blake flopping.”
Griffin isn’t the only Clipper whose theatrical performance is gaining steam. Grizzlies head coach Lionel Hollins called out Griffin during an interview after the first quarter. “Chris does a good job of flopping and drawing fouls.” Is the NBA’s “Lob City” becoming “Flop City”?
The reputation is building. The seeds have been planted. Griffin is definitely on his way to earning some hardware – but I don’t think he should be too proud of his Academy Award.