Fresh off winning an award for being the NBA’s best teammate, Chauncey Billups said publically Blake Griffin needs more toughness.
Billups, via ESPN:
“I don’t agree that Blake Griffin is soft. But what I will say about Blake is that he’s maybe too nice of a guy,” Billups said. “Because there’s been times in games where people take shots at Blake. And I tell him if that’s me, you’re going to have to take this two- or three-game suspension, and I’m going to punish somebody.
“That’s just how I’m built. Blake is not really built like that. He’s … too soft of a guy inside for him to be like, ‘All right, I’m just going to hurt somebody.’ He just won’t do it. I wish he would, and I think that people would look at him a lot different if he did that. But he’s just not that kind of person.”
I – like everyone else, which is why he won the award – love Billups, but I can’t stand most “back in my day” stories. Let’s review Billups’ discipline issues:
December 2012: Warned for flopping
November 2002: Suspended one game for throwing the ball at a referee
November 1996: Suspended three games for making long-distance phone calls
I don’t think a player whose longest suspension is for making long-distance phones can credibly tell Griffin, “If that’s me, you’re going to have to take this two- or three-game suspension, and I’m going to punish somebody.” Billups has just never been that guy, and he shouldn’t put down Griffin to pretend to be now.
And that’s not a knock to Billups, who is very tough. It’s a credit to him for finding ways to prove his toughness without taking dirty shots at opponents. That’s what Griffin should do, as well.