Blake Griffin, it seems, is not well-liked around the league.
Opponents are always testing him, arguing with him, baiting him. I suspect there are a few reasons, but Warriors guard Klay Thompson illuminates a few.
“He is a good guy off the court but he probably just … I mean … plays pretty physical and flops a little bit,” Thompson told The Wheelhouse on 95.7 The Game radio in San Francisco.
“He flairs his arm around so you know you might catch a random elbow or something that doesn’t you know rub off too well on guys,” Thompson said. “He’s kind of like a bull in a china shop, kind of out of control sometimes. And then you do just see him flop sometimes like how can a guy that big and strong flop that much.
“I can see how that gets under people’s skin and be frustrating to play against.”
Yes, Griffin flops, and he does so in maddening ways. There’s no question that grates.
But I also believe there’s a little bit of jealousy at play. Even by professional-athlete standards, Griffin is a physical marvel. He makes so many things look easy, he could dominate without resorting to cheap tactics. He’s also in plenty of commercials, raising his profile and the envy factor.
I also believe groupthink is occurring here. It’s become acceptable to dislike Griffin, so everybody looks for reasons to pile on and nobody gives him the benefit of the doubt.
Ultimately, nobody can change the perception of Griffin more than Griffin himself. I certainly wouldn’t argue his reputation is undeserved, though maybe just a little overblown. He’s not the NBA’s only flopper, and he’s probably not its worst.
If he’s is interested in proving Thompson wrong, Griffin can begin doing so in the upcoming Clipper-Warriors series. Should be fun whatever he decides. There’s certainly no love lost between these teams.