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Chris Paul: Everyone loves Blake Griffin except those he dunked on

Apr 11, 2012, 1:15 PM EDT

Blake Griffin AP

Not everyone loves Blake Griffin anymore.

They did last year, when he burst on the scene and was throwing down monster dunks for an entertaining but ultimately harmless Clippers team. Then he went during the lockout and interned at Funny or Die and you realized the guy has a great sense of humor.

But this year the Clippers are a threat and Griffin is both acting and being perceived differently. He plays what ESPN’s Kevin Arnovitz accurately described as a “confrontational” style of basketball — he is very physical, he complains about every call, he talks a lot of smack, he glares and stalks around the court. He tries to intimidate. And of course, he dunks on people.

It’s getting under some opponents skin, and some fans have started to grow disenfranchised with him.

Chris Paul doesn’t get that, he told the Oklahoman.

“What’s not to like about him?” he said. “He’s fun. He’s funny. He laughs, jokes, smiles. He’s a great guy off the court….

“Shoot, everybody loves him,” Paul said, getting fired up as he talked. “Shoot, don’t nobody love him more than my son. I don’t know nobody that don’t like Blake.”

He paused.

“Except for the guys he dunks on.”

It’s more than that. Griffin does at time come off as a bully at times, and on a team that is up and coming it rubs people wrong. Like all bullies, a day is coming when someone will stand up to him on the court.

But Griffin is like most athletes in that the guy they are on the court and off are two different guys. Off the court, Griffin is no doubt a good guy. Griffin the guy with the dry sense of humor and the funny commercials is a guy we want to see more of.

But the universal, unconditional love for Griffin is gone. No matter what Chris Paul sees.

  1. Justin - Apr 11, 2012 at 1:29 PM

    Chris Paul and Blake Griffin are like the Batman and Robin of flops.

    • krystalkidd - Apr 14, 2012 at 4:17 AM

      Let me help you out there.

      Correction: Dwayne Wade & Lebron James are like the Batman and Robin of flops.

  2. cakemixa - Apr 11, 2012 at 1:29 PM

    Lol, Griffin might be a faker tough guy than even Perkins or Garnett.

  3. mister12 - Apr 11, 2012 at 2:16 PM

    Paul Pierce remix

  4. nygrwy - Apr 11, 2012 at 3:03 PM

    Griffin annoys me because he throws it down like conan then flops like barbie. Be a man on both sides of the ball.

    • Alex Chavez - Apr 11, 2012 at 7:00 PM

      It’s called a strategy! It may not be the prettiest play in the game but its part of the rule book. Everyone has just as much right to do it

  5. moseskkim - Apr 11, 2012 at 3:12 PM

    What’s so wrong about flopping? He doesn’t do it that much anyways. It’s just documented everytime he does and that’s why it seems like its done so often. It shows he’s willing to do whatever it takes to win. It’s tough banging down low all game and if he could get a couple freebie plays, good for him. He’s a great talent and is about half the reason that the clippers are a more fun team to watch than their roomies.

    • cosanostra71 - Apr 11, 2012 at 4:09 PM

      You must not watch the Clippers much if you think he doesn’t flop often. Him and Pau on the “Clips’ roomies” (lol at calling the Lakers that btw) both do it every game.

      • cosanostra71 - Apr 12, 2012 at 12:22 AM

        Blake Griffin flopping when he hit himself:

  6. baywatchboy - Apr 11, 2012 at 3:15 PM

    Griffin is this generation’s Shaq at similar points in their careers. he dunks and rebounds and that’s about it.

  7. obamablowz - Apr 11, 2012 at 3:29 PM

    Griffin is a coward punk who cries when fouled.

  8. cweb8123 - Apr 11, 2012 at 3:45 PM

    what superstar in the league doesn’t complain about fouls? also there plenty of other people out there that take charges alot more Blake does but he gets put under the spotlight because he is dunking on everyone. Most big men in the league that try and act tough are usually faking as well, this is the 80s anymore when there were real enforcers on teams.

  9. airyeezy17 - Apr 11, 2012 at 4:07 PM

    I was unaware that I had been previously dunked on by Blake Griffin.

  10. raidmagic - Apr 11, 2012 at 4:09 PM

    I don’t love him and he’s never dunked on me.

  11. franchiseplaya - Apr 11, 2012 at 4:55 PM

    I could do without the flopping but every player has done it at some point As far as complaining about calls or trying to intimidate, thats the M.O. of almost any great player. Anyone think Jordan never complained? Does a week go by that we don’t see Kobe with his jaw jutted out? Who hasn’t been on the receiving end of trash talk from KG? I’m not saying he’s on par with those guys but he’s a star in the League and sometimes you have to play with an edge he’s not out there to be liked he’s out there to win games.

  12. tcclark - Apr 11, 2012 at 5:06 PM

    The only reason I don’t like him is because he is so overrated. He’s a great hustler, he rebounds really well, and he can dunk with the best of them, but really he’s just a much more athletic Reggie Evans. Don’t get me wrong, I love Reggie Evans, but he has no offensive game and if you’ve watched him play, you’d know that no one flops, acts, or complains about a call like Reggie. He is a phenomenal rebounder, and is a pain in the ass to play against, because he is relentless, but if he was as athletic as Blake, he’d be just as good.

    I’m sure I’ll get a ton of thumbs down for this from people who have barely ever seen Reggie play, but it’s true. Blake Griffin is Reggie Evans with hops.

  13. dunkindan - Apr 11, 2012 at 6:02 PM

    he clears his dunk with his left forearm way too much.

  14. Alex Chavez - Apr 11, 2012 at 6:58 PM

    This and other reports like these bother me because this seems to be the spin of he week for lots of “journalist”. You sports writer love the rise of a star but are infatuated with the fall just as much. Case in point, LeBron James “The Decision”. You loved LeBron until then and he was the villain all of last year. This year you picked Blake…

    Not once in this article did I read about the over physical fouls Blake has taken all this year long. Or the horrible fouls that haven’t been called. All you said was that he was a Bully and was going to get his. Check the stats, he’s been getting it. He is one of the most fouled players in the league.

    Further more, isn’t the object of the game to put the ball in the basket? And if he is physically gifted enough to do it easier by dunking, should he stop because it hurst other players feelings and makes them look bad?… Would you have asked Jordan to stop fading before his shot? Would you ask Kobe to not to pump fake? Would you have asked Shaq not to be 7′-340 lbs and dominate the paint? Would you ask Kareem not to sky hook, or Allen Iverson not to cross you up, or Kevin Durrent not to rise up 3 feet above you, or Steve Nash not to kick and drive?? No. HELLLL NO!

    That’s his game and until you learn to stop it, other players will just need to get used to showing up on posters for a long time to come.

    Do some real reporting and stop trying to create a villain. The good news is, you’ll find another villain next year. Jeremy Lin maybe?

  15. tpd2012 - Apr 11, 2012 at 7:12 PM

    I can see why people may be rubbed the wrong way by Griffin….because before I knew anything about him….I assumed he was an ass lol.

    But man oh man! The guy is SUCH a kind soul off court. He’s so humble, respectful, mature, and funny at the same time. I definitely DON’T think he deserves the negativity. I think that’s just how he plays and as time goes on he’ll be able to improve any flaws he might have.

  16. abchome - Apr 11, 2012 at 10:49 PM

    You always have friends and enemies, no matter how good or bad you are. No big deal.

  17. glink123 - Apr 12, 2012 at 6:39 AM

    “don’t know nobody”. proof that 4 years of college would just be a waste of time.

  18. missouricharger - Apr 12, 2012 at 7:17 AM

    I would like Griffin if he could do more than dunk. Plus, 60% of his “monster” dunks, are offensive fouled.

  19. mat9844 - Apr 12, 2012 at 10:04 AM

    Griffin is one of the main reasons I follow the Clippers; let’s face it, basketball players are entertainers and we all like to see how far they can take their talents and win. He’s got a great career ahead of him.

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