Blake Griffin, the Los Angeles Clippers and Flopping
This shortened season has had a lot of flopping talk, hasn’t it?
Things have only ramped up since the postseason has started, too. The main source of frustration for those opposed to flopping has been the Los Angeles Clippers. From Blake Griffin to Chris Paul the Clippers are making as much noise in the playoffs for their flopping as they are for their 3-1 series lead over the Grizzlies.
While the internet has been ablaze with criticism for Griffin, last night things went to another level with Chris Webber working the game and Charles Barkley working Inside the NBA after the game. Both former NBAers had strong words about flopping, with Webber saying a player who continues to flop isn’t going to be respected by his opponents.
Barkley, of course, took things a step further after the game by comparing Griffin to the often injured and overly dramatic Vince Carter. Barkley went on the Dan Patrick show today and the topic of flopping came up. In typical Barkley fashion, he didn’t hold back on his thoughts. Via Ball Don't Lie, here's Barkley:
On Blake Griffin flopping:
"He made me so mad last night. I called him Vince Carter last night. Because Vince Carter was a great player—we used to joke he got shot like three times a game. I called him that on the show last night, I said 'Blake Griffin has turned into a new Vince Carter.' … He gets shot three or four times a game and just goes down. He better stop that flopping. He gotta stop that, because you can tell all these players are taking cheap shots because he's getting to be annoying with all the flopping."
On if Griffin will lose the respect of opposing players if he keeps flopping:
"No they just gonna enjoy hitting you more. Because what the mentality becomes then is, 'OK, if you're gonna flop I'm gonna knock the hell out of you.' That's actually the way it goes. They won't lose respect because he's a terrific player."
The thing about Griffin is that from the moment he played his first minutes as an NBA rookie, he was built up to be a superstar. He delivered with stunning dunks and an exciting style of play. In return received the kind of calls that rookies usually don’t get. Two years in, he definitely expects to get the foul call (every time), but that sense of entitlement isn’t entirely his fault. When a rookie Griffin was coddled by the league and given the respect usually reserved for veteran players, that flopping character was created.
While it isn’t Griffin’s fault, it does have to stop. When former players and current players alike are all shaking their heads at your style of play, it’s probably time to give yourself a reality check. In Griffin’s case, he needs to keep attacking the rim hard, keep developing his game and close his mouth. No more complaining; no more theatrics; no more having Kenyon Martin acting as your hype-down man.
It’ll be interesting to see how officials start dealing with the Clippers if the flopping continues. Eventually, something’s got to give. For the love of the game, let’s eliminate this flopping.
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