UPDATE: Thursday, December 26 at 6:44 p.m. ET by Joe Flynn
Warriors center Andrew Bogut has responded to Griffin's barbs, according to the San Jose Mercury News' Jimmy Durkin.
We're just trying to win the game. We did whatever it took to win the game. We made the big plays toward the end. Everyone's entitled to their opinions and comments and we're not really affected by that. We'd rather be called cowards and come out with the win.
I don't talk trash. To the contrary of certain comments, I didn't say a word last night to anybody. If there's physicality needed, I'm happy to bring it but I never look for the altercations but unfortunately last night there were a couple little scrums. It's playoff-style basketball. We're both fighting for the same thing. We both want to get to the playoffs and make noise and that's what you've got to do in those games.
Interesting. Bogut didn't actually refute the "coward" accusation; rather, he fell back on the old "we did whatever it took to win" defense.
He's right, though. The Warriors won, and Bogut got the last word.
---End of Update---
After he was ejected during the fourth quarter of Golden State's 105-103 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers on Christmas Day, Griffin accused the Warriors of being as yellow as those sleeved jerseys they were wearing.
"If you look at it, I didn't do anything and I got thrown out of the game," Griffin said, per ESPN Los Angeles' Arash Markazi. "It all boils down to they fell for it. To me, that's cowardly. That's cowardly basketball."
He was right about not doing anything.
After review NBA concludes LAC's B. Griffin should not have been ejected (vs. GSW on Dec. 25). See statement/video at http://t.co/s31cRnMjez— NBA Official (@NBAOfficial) December 26, 2013
Griffin was making reference to the pair of scuffles he was involved in during the game.
As time expired in the third, Draymond Green elbowed Griffin in the face, causing both players to exchange words. Green was subsequently tossed, while Griffin was handed a technical.
Then, early in the fourth, Griffin got tied up with Andrew Bogut, compelling players on both teams to get in each others' faces.
It was Griffin who was tossed this time, as it was his second technical of the night.
Clearly, he feels he was being targeted, and even suggested that the Warriors were playing a game within a game:
Blake Griffin: "You want to play a team head-to-head. You don’t want to start playing other games and playing cowardly basketball."— Arash Markazi (@ArashMarkazi) December 26, 2013
Clippers coach Doc Rivers, who was disgruntled that his team blew a lead, also thought Golden State was trying to provoke Griffin.
"I think he said that Golden State was trying to get Blake thrown out of the game, and it worked," Rivers said when asked what the officials' explanation of Griffin's second technical foul was, per Markazi. "That's all I can come up with."
More drama ensued following the final buzzer. Chris Paul and Bogut had a small squabble of their own after Jamal Crawford missed a potential game-winning three-pointer.
The clash was short-lived. It was broken up quickly by various coaches and players, and the Orange County Register's Dan Woike said Paul apologized for it:
Chris Paul took responsibility and apologized for end of game incident— Dan Woike (@DanWoikeSports) December 26, 2013
You won't hear any such apologies from Griffin, who maintained he was the victim of Golden State's dastardly play.
"I feel tonight I got two technicals for nothing," he said, via Markazi.
Though it does appear Griffin wasn't a primary instigator of both on-court disputes, can he really be absolved of all blame? Even if the Warriors were instructed or trying to spur a reaction from the star forward, it's on him to keep his cool.
Players have egos and backbones. Nine times out of 10, stars won't walk away from a confrontation—especially if they're feeling targeted.
But this was the fourth quarter of a close game between two division rivals. Things were already out of hand, and Griffin, however unfair it seems, has to recognize how invaluable he is to his team.
Officials don't always look for who started what. Oftentimes, it comes down to general contact and reactions. If the Warriors wanted to get Griffin ejected, they succeeded.
And he let them.