Derrick Rose vented after Charlie Villanueva bloodied his nose that he was sick of the cheap shots and hard fouls.
“I’m definitely sick of taking hard hits,” Griffin said after the Clippers’ shootaround Monday. “…There’s a point, I can’t remember what game it was, in my mind where I thought this is kind of ridiculous. I’m sick of it, but it’s going to keep on happening…
“It’s affected me this year a lot, especially with the referees,” he said. “I’m just getting frustrated and getting my self in trouble with officials.”
Griffin and Rose have joined an illustrious club with a long history in the NBA — star players other teams foul hard.
These are two guys who get to the rim and don’t shy away from contact doing so. They are two guys who are strong — if your goal is to wrap them up and make them earn it from the line you had better come hard or they will power through and get the and-1. Fouls are part of the defense against stars and you get hit hard. Sometimes without a call.
You’re going to get more of those fouls if you are Griffin and shooting 52 percent from the free throw line. Fouling you is a smart strategy.
Griffin and Rose are responding with another age-old NBA move — trying to reach the referees through the media. Working the officials is as much a part of the game as dribbling. You do it at the games — although Griffin has pushed that a little too far this year at points, something it sounds like he recognizes.
Griffin and Rose also both seem to realize this isn’t going to stop.
Whether it is LeBron James or Kobe Bryant now, Michael Jordan before them, and a long string of stars extending to before George Mikan laced up his Converse — stars get treated physically. It doesn’t mean the league should tolerate what Jason Smith did (it shouldn’t) but if you are a star now you pay a physical price.
It’s part of it. You just have to deal with it.