Blake Griffin, you want to know how you’ve really made it? When opposing bloggers — like Liberty Ballers Wednesday night — write things like this about you:
Griffin flopped and bitched the entire night en route to a disappointing 14 points, 8 rebounds and 6 fouls. Both Elton Brand and the Sixers’ team defense/gameplan deserve tremendous credit for stifling the one Clipper who had the potential to beat them single-handedly.
Another part of being the guy who can beat teams single-handedly is that you get played physically, and Griffin has been getting a lot of that, too. Like when Tony Battie took him down hard late in the first half of that Sixers win. Griffin got up from that looking like a guy ready to throw down. (A double technical was assessed.)
Griffin says he has had enough of this treatment. He explained to the Los Angeles Times it’s time he pushed back.
“I just felt like they had let things go way too much up to that point. That’s what happens when you let things go when they don’t call fouls and things like that happen. … And I thought it was ridiculous. So I’m not going to take that. … I’ve done it too much this season. It got to me.”
Griffin and Dwight Howard need to sit down and talk about this anger. Shaq can be the moderator (he got fouled harder and more often back in the day than either of them).
No doubt, those two (and some other guys around the league) take more fouls than smaller players. It’s not fair. And fair is irrelevant. Defend your space, push back if you must.
But remember: Being a big man means sometimes being the bigger man — you can’t retaliate. You need to pick your spots.
I sense a pattern.
Like Celtics president Danny Ainge saying Boston would’ve drafted No. 3 pick Jayson Tatum No. 1 if it kept the top pick, Kings president Vlade Divac said Sacramento would’ve taken No. 5 pick De'Aaron Fox No. 1 if it had the top pick.
Divac, via James Ham of NBC Sports California:
“Screaming,” Divac said about the reaction in the room to Fox falling in their lap. “It was a guy that we all loved and in some way, if we had the number 1 pick, he would’ve been our guy.”
“De’Aaron is our future,” Divac added.
The Kings are getting a lot of credit for drafting well. Maybe it’s a good thing they didn’t get the No. 1 pick, because it would have been foolish to pass on Markelle Fultz and Lonzo Ball (and others) for Fox. (The real punchline: Sacramento couldn’t have won the lottery due to Divac’s dumb salary dump with the 76ers giving Philadelphia the ability to swap picks.)
I don’t believe the Kings would’ve actually taken Fox No. 1. This sounds like Divac embellishing, which can be no big deal. It also puts outsized expectations on Fox, for better or worse.
After trading down from No. 1 to No. 3 in the draft, Celtics president Danny Ainge said Boston would probably still get the player it would’ve picked No. 1.
The Celtics selected Jayson Tatum No. 3. Would they have taken him if they held the No. 1 pick?
Ainge, via CSN New England:
Yes, we would have picked him with the first pick. But the draft was very even, we felt, at the top all the way through maybe five or six. And it was very difficult. There was a lot of players we liked in this draft.
I believe that the Celtics saw the top several picks as similar. I also believe, but don’t know, that they would’ve drafted Markelle Fultz if they kept the top pick.
I’m also curious, considering how the process unfolded, whether Ainge had Tatum or Josh Jackson in mind when making his initial statement. Regardless of whether he was thinking Jackson, Tatum or both, Ainge couldn’t reasonably back out of his claim now.
For what it’s worth, I would have seen Jackson (No. 3 on my board) as a reach at No. 1. I see Taytum (No. 9 on my board) as a reach at No. 3, let alone No. 1.
The Thunder paid the Hawks $3 million for the draft rights to No. 31 pick Tibor Pleiss in 2010. Last year, the Nets paid $3 million just to move up 13 spots in the second round to get Isaiah Whitehead.
The Warriors surpassed that amount, previously the record for spending on a draft pick, to buy the No. 38 pick from the Bulls and get Jordan Bell last night.
Marcus Thompson of The Mercury News:
Golden State also bought the No. 38 pick last year to get a player I rated as first-round caliber, Patrick McCaw, whose rights cost “just” $2.4 million. McCaw had a promising rookie year and even contributed in the NBA Finals.
Bell – whose draft rights drew the maximum-allowable $3.5 million – could achieve similar success. I rated him No. 31 but in the same tier as other first-round-caliber prospects. He’s a versatile defender, capable of protecting the rim and switching onto guards. He’s obviously not nearly the same level, but Bell is in the Draymond Green mold defensively. Bell’s offense doesn’t come close to Green’s, though. Bell could fill a role sooner than later when Golden State needs a defensive-minded sub.
The Warriors have generated massive revenue during their dominant run the last few years. Now, they’re putting some of that money back into the on-court product. Success breeds success – especially when the owners don’t just pocket the profits.
The 76ers drafted Markelle Fultz No. 1 overall, placing a ton of attention on the point guard.
He parlayed that attention into a sponsored Instagram post, but he – or whomever posted on his behalf – never changed the stock text the company sent.
Rodger Sherman of The Ringer:
Fultz deleted and reposted, but this was probably a blessing in disguise. If it weren’t for the funny initial oversight, the advertisement never would have gotten so much traction.