Blake Griffin and his teammates have to defend him from opposing players taking cheap shots at him. Photo by Matt York (AP)
NBA players are not appreciating being posterized by Blake Griffin.
By Jason Lewis
Sentinel Sports Editor
Fans love Blake Griffin dunks because they raise the excitement level in arenas around the nation. The NBA’s front office loves Griffin’s dunks because it sells more tickets. Television networks love Griffin’s dunks because of the higher ratings. Cooperate sponsors love the dunks because Griffin can help them push their products.
Seems like everybody loves to watch that guy throw down on a defender, and he seems to do it nearly every game.
But there is a group that does not like it at all. That would be NBA players, and some of them are fighting back with flagrant fouls against the Clippers star.
During the Clippers loss in Phoenix a week ago, Suns center Robin Lopez was the latest player to target Griffin. Lopez was trying to stop a Griffin dunk off of a fast break when Lopez sent Griffin flying off of the court. Lopez was issued a flagrant 2 foul and he was ejected from the game.
A month ago, New Orleans forward Jason Smith was ejected from a game and suspended for two games for committing a flagrant foul on Griffin.
It is not just being humiliated by Griffin that has players upset. Some of them feel that Griffin stands over them and stairs them down, like he did when he dunked on Lakers forward Pau Gasol.
On one of the two dunks that Griffin had over Gasol about a month ago, Griffin led with his forearm to Gasol’s jaw, which should have been ruled an offensive foul, and it knocked Gasol to the ground as Griffin dunked the ball. As Gasol was getting up, Griffin stood over him as if he were superior.
Griffin is going to have to be careful, because the hard fouls could intensify in the playoffs. Chris Paul said that he was told that Griffin is public enemy No. 1.
Clippers head coach Vinny Del Negro views this as an issue.
“The league’s got to do something to protect this kid. We can only get so any technical fouls. We can only do so many things. Guys are taking shots at him and I think it’s getting bad.”
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