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Jermaine O’Neal explains his reasoning for confronting Blake Griffin outside locker room following loss to Clippers

Mar 14, 2014, 6:36 PM EDT

Golden State Warriors v Sacramento Kings Getty Images

Jermaine O’Neal is in his 18th NBA season, and has had his share of dust-ups over the years.

He also has been around long enough to have a firm perception of what is and what isn’t acceptable behavior between opponents on the court, which by itself may explain why he chose to wait for Blake Griffin outside the Clippers locker room following a loss in L.A. earlier this week.

But O’Neal elaborated anyway, essentially saying that Griffin committed an unspecified act of basketball treason that somehow crossed the line.

From Monte Poole of CSN Bay Area:

“It was some things that were said,” O’Neal said after the team’s Friday morning shootaround, “and in this league you want to put clearance to it. And we did. After the game, it felt like it was appropriate to address.” …

“It’s understood what the line is,” O’Neal said. “We’re paid to be basketball players and to play the game the right way and do things the right way. And when you cross the line in saying things and doing things, you address it and you move on. We’ve moved on.” …

“Sometimes things happen during games or things are said during games that shouldn’t necessarily be said or done,” he said. “But then as men, you talk about it. You shake on it and move on. I don’t have any animosity toward him, hopefully he doesn’t have any animosity toward me and hopefully that’s it.”

Plenty of players have gotten upset playing against Griffin, who is monstrously physical himself and almost never reacts to hard fouls or excessive contact unless punches are thrown.

Griffin’s initial response to O’Neal was to tell him to “leave that s— on the court,” before the two briefly shook hands.

We’ll never know exactly what went down here, or whether Griffin’s alleged infraction was verbal or physical. But whatever did happen was substantial enough for O’Neal to feel the need to address it.

  1. mackcarrington - Mar 14, 2014 at 6:43 PM

    For everyone who calls Griffin “soft”, it’s interesting to know that he at least dishes it out verbally if not in physical retaliation.
    As I’ve said before. if I was the owner, GM, or the coach, I would give him a one shot green light to knock someone out to put an end to all of the BS he takes.

    • pharohislife - Mar 14, 2014 at 7:59 PM

      But he wouldn’t do it even if he had the green light to, that’s not who he is.

      • mackcarrington - Mar 14, 2014 at 9:08 PM

        Blake is human like everyone else. We all have a point where we say “OK, that’s it. I’ve had enough”.

    • riders008 - Mar 15, 2014 at 11:11 AM

      Sorry your green light idea has a flaw …when Kermit Washington punched Rudy tomjanovich in the face in the early 80’s he was suspended like 30 games….in today’s nba of softness …..Blake would get a suspension for the whole season…I’m sure he and the clippers want that …maybe next time you think about the consequences of his actions you want him to take mackcarrington……hey maybe the clips can sign you to a 10 day contract to be the enforcer for Blake …..

      • mackcarrington - Mar 15, 2014 at 5:24 PM

        @rider:
        It’s not about ME.
        And I doubt he would get suspended for the season if he didn’t instigate. I’m talking about retaliation.
        And Kermit Washington’s situation has nothing to do with what players are doing to Griffin every game.
        Kermit wasn’t provoked into throwing that punch. That’s why his suspension was so severe.

    • kamauthabiti - Mar 15, 2014 at 4:29 PM

      that’s just plain dumb

  2. nykfanwakemeupin2015 - Mar 14, 2014 at 6:44 PM

    You have come a long way Jermaine.

  3. seattlesuperchronic - Mar 14, 2014 at 7:01 PM

    nykfanwakemeupin2015

    Great comment, great name.

    • nykfanwakemeupin2015 - Mar 15, 2014 at 5:07 PM

      Thanks dude. Great name too

  4. rastaraider - Mar 14, 2014 at 7:18 PM

    O’Neal punked his ass

  5. zickhead - Mar 14, 2014 at 7:51 PM

    Griffin got scared of Jermaine off the court. Didn’t want to be a victim of the sub-zero sliding punch like the fan in Detriot.

    • dannymac17 - Mar 14, 2014 at 8:37 PM

      i highly doubt hes scared considering hes a grown ass man.

    • imakcds - Mar 15, 2014 at 10:45 AM

      Griffin’s FEAR was displayed ON the court. He ‘fought’ so hard against the teammates holding him back, it reminded me of Justin Bieber kicking a fan AFTER his bodyguards had him down.
      just look at his face after he and Tucker got up…PUZZEE!!!

    • kinglorious - Mar 16, 2014 at 3:55 AM

      lmao!! That punch was awesome…good ol’ Malice in the Palace.

  6. jzone954 - Mar 14, 2014 at 9:00 PM

    In other words he said something to Blake and he realized he shouldn’t of said it and wanted to apologize.

  7. bhunter1995 - Mar 14, 2014 at 10:05 PM

    There has to be something Blake is doing to get all of this hate from other players, and don’t give me some line about how he dunks on people or is so good that other players get jealous. There are your Vince Carters, Kobes, Shawn Kemps, and your Dominiques who dunked on half the league during their primes but no one is taking shots at them. There has to be something that Blake says or does (maybe its the flopping?) that earns him the hate.

    • divan22 - Mar 15, 2014 at 1:48 AM

    • imakcds - Mar 15, 2014 at 10:48 AM

      I am totally with you, bhunter, Griffin’s hijinks on the court have been evident to me since day 1, and I can’t stand this PUNK.

  8. 00maltliquor - Mar 15, 2014 at 4:57 AM

    Honey Nutt Cheerios?

  9. stayhigh_247 - Mar 15, 2014 at 7:12 AM

    Blake said his wife smelled like Fruit Loops.

  10. imakcds - Mar 15, 2014 at 10:40 AM

    Griffin IS A PUNK, and he is the reason I can’t support the Clips, the reason I won’t watch them.
    He has had many many incidents thruout his career, with various players on various teams, and why is that??? He CAUSES other players to GO OFF, ENRAGED by his bullsheet on the court.
    But the NBA protects Howdy Doody, and Howdy acts like there’s nothing shady on his part.
    one day he will go too far, and it will not be pretty.

  11. andreboy1 - Mar 15, 2014 at 6:45 PM

    Blake is a punk.

    The reason players’ are starting to go after him is that he has become the biggest flopper in the game.

    He’s a strange guy in that he can be really physical and then turn into a pool noodle at a seconds notice.

  12. jerdogthompson - Mar 15, 2014 at 9:17 PM

    To all you dorks calling Blake a flipper, riddle me this. When has he gotten a warning from league? Oh yeah, it’s your intuitive know better than league officials smarts that give you that “insiders” edge? What a bunch of dorks. My guess he has POSTERIZED your favorite player at least once if not twice.

    • dexterismyhero - Mar 16, 2014 at 7:02 AM

      He does look like Howdy Doody though!!!!

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