Blake Griffin Dunks on Pau Gasol: Maybe We Do Care About Griffin Dunks After All

Holly MacKenzieNBA Lead BloggerApril 5, 2012

LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 04:  Blake Griffin #32 of the Los Angeles Clippers attempts a shot in front of Pau Gasol #16 of the Los Angeles Lakers during a 113-108 Laker win at Staples Center on April 4, 2012 in Los Angeles, California.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images

So, about people not caring when Blake Griffin dunks. Yeah, I might have been a little off-base with that one.

Last night, everyone cared. How could you not? With Blake crushing the soul and spirit of Paul Gasol, it was impossible not to notice. The worst (or best, depending on how you look at it) part of the entire debacle was the clip that showed Gasol on the ground, asking the cameraman if the ball had gone through the net. Brutal.

The reaction after Griffin slammed over Gasol (twice) was interesting. The initial response was a full-on freak out over the dunks. The athleticism, the power, the sheer force with which Griffin attacked the rim. At first, the reaction was typical of any amazing dunk, multiplied since there were two dunks over the same player, because it was the Clippers against the Lakers and it was a game on national television.

After the initial wave of OMGs cooled down, the discussion turned to whether or not Griffin should have been called for a foul on his dunks. After the game, Kobe Bryant told reporters that he didn't think there was a foul on the play, but what was interesting was how quickly the same people who marvelled over the dunk snapped into "that was a foul" mode.

This was probably magnified by the dunk coming against a team with a fanbase as strong as the Lakers, but the shift from celebrating the dunk to claiming it shouldn't have counted at all was incredible to watch. 

A season ago, I don't think we would have been having that discussion. It seems like people are split on Griffin. Maybe some of this is because we're waiting to see the rest of his game develop so he can be more than a dunker. Maybe we don't like that he appears to feel entitled sometimes. Maybe it's just cool to be off of the bandwagon.

With social media allowing us to connect with fans, players and media all over, it seems like we're a little unsure of what to do with Griffin. 

Watching how people react to Griffin has become as interesting as watching Griffin himself. Has there ever been a player who has had such a strong shift in public opinion in such a short amount of time? Specifically, one who hasn't gotten into any off-court issues or done anything silly on the floor?

Griffin's an incredible talent with a very bright future. We love the dunks and we want more, but we seem unwilling to wait for it.