One of the most contentious places on the Internet is the youtube comments section. I started watching some Tracy McGrady highlight videos, then clicked a related video, then clicked another related video, then clicked a third related video, and ended up watching a video of Blake Griffin flopping after hitting himself in the face with his own hand (1). This video led me to another where Andre Miller is (thuggishly) shoved by Griffin twice under the basket, and then retaliates (2). The comments to these videos were both supportive of Blake, saying that flopping is apart of the game, and that Andre should have been called for a foul.
There’s one thing that drives me crazy about some of today’s young NBA superstars: a sense of entitlement.
Blake Griffin is extremely overrated as a basketball player. Take him at face value. What do you have? A super athletic forward who can jump really high, albeit two-footed (3). He’s not a good shooter, he can’t handle the ball really well, he’s nonexistent on the defensive side of the ball, and he is an inconsistent rebounder. But mainly he can jump really high and is an incredible athlete.
With that being said, I’d say that Blake is, on average, the best athlete on the court 98% of the time (4). There is no excuse for Blake to play dead every time he gets fouled. In the previous paragraph, the only good thing I said about him is that he is an extremely gifted athlete. Apparently, the only thing that he’s good at doesn’t translate on the court. People like Andre Miller can make Blake look like he just got “hit by a train” (5). He’s a power forward without the power. He has all the ability, he just doesn’t have the mental toughness. I have very little sympathy for that.
One more video on youtube that ticks me off is the one where Jason Smith decks Blake on the fast break (6). I have no problem with the actual video but, again, the comments. The top comment is a dissing response to somebody who said Blake should be able to handle the contact. No it wasn’t me that said it, but at least I know I’m not alone. You know what my response is to people justifying Blake lying lifeless on the ground for 20 seconds? Learn yourself some history.
(7). I know you’ve seen it before. Kurt Rambis and Kevin McHale. People made a huge deal about the Jason Smith foul, saying ‘Oh well at least Blake wasn’t in the air, or it would have been a 20 game suspension’ or something like that. Are you kidding me? Rambis was in mid-flight and got clotheslined JBL-like by McHale (8). I’m also going to go out on a limb and say that Rambis wasn’t as physically gifted as Blake. As the saying went, Kurt played like Superman, looked like Clark Kent, and shot like Lois Lane. The guy wore taped glasses when he played. And yet, somehow he managed to not play dead and actually show some fire by retaliating. (Which brings up another point that I didn’t think of, when is the last time you saw Blake get emotionally fired up and into a game?)
This all gets back to my main point. Blake hasn’t done anything basketball significant in the NBA yet. Sportscenter top 10 plays yes, if that’s what you’re in to. But until he controls a game, dominates the paint, or gets even mildly interested in being competitive, he should not expect to be respected. Until then, he should just keep making awkward commercials.
(3) I’ve never been a fan of two-footed jumpers. They drive me crazy. I cringe every time I see a Dominique Wilkins highlight.
(5) In the illustrious words of the GFOAT, Reggie Miller. If you read my last post, you’ll understand that I’m not the biggest Reggie fan either.
(8) First of many WWE references, JBL’s finisher was the Clothesline from Hell. I’ve posted an insane amount of videos in the this post, so here’s one more: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lDY_c_r7vSw