Blake Griffin is a spectacular athlete. He’s the greatest pure dunker since Shawn Kemp was a Sonic, his YouTube comedy videos are hilarious, and he’s even got me respecting Kia Motors a little bit. His post game isn’t quite there yet, but I think it’ll come eventually, and he just went for 30 the other night before fouling out. But, he is also a pretty blatant flopper too.
Chris Webber politely warned Blake against continuing to be a flopper during the broadcast the other night, and even guys like Jarret Jack were tweeting about how the officials can’t keep giving Griffin that flop call. He was flopping like crazy, and has been all playoffs long. I can’t say I really noticed him doing this throughout the season, but I probably only watched a dozen regular season Clippers games and was mostly waiting for alley oops when I was so I’m going to assume he was flopping all year too and I just missed that.
Maybe I’m wrong, but I don’t think Charles Barkley is wrong in saying what he did on Dan Patrick’s radio show the other day. This from Barkely via SportsRadioInterviews.com:
“He [Blake] made me so mad last night. I called him Vince Carter last night. Because Vince Carter was a great player — we used to joke he got shot like three times a game. I called him that on the show last night, I said ‘Blake Griffin has turned into a new Vince Carter.’ … He gets shot three or four times a game and just goes down. He better stop that flopping. He gotta stop that, because you can tell all these players are taking cheap shots because he’s getting to be annoying with all the flopping.”
On if Griffin will lose the respect of opposing players if he keeps flopping:
“No they just gonna enjoy hitting you more. Because what the mentality becomes then is, ‘OK, if you’re gonna flop I’m gonna knock the hell out of you.’ That’s actually the way it goes. They won’t lose respect because he’s a terrific player.”
My take on flopping is that there are some players in the NBA who just can’t do it. I view flopping similarly to how I view taking charges, actually, but flopping is certainly worse. If you are not tall enough to block somebody’s shot, taking a charge is okay. If you’re 6 foot 8 or taller you shouldn’t be taking charges up near the rim. You should be playing actual defense, and trying to block the shot.
Same goes for flopping too I think, but I view that more as a strength issue than simply a height one. Anderson Varejao can kinda flop if he wants. He’s a skinny guy, who is not built like Blake Griffin. Blake is beast, however, and it just looks ridiculous when he acts like a smaller dude just crushed him. Guys might not lose respect for him because he is a good player, who can conversely dunk on their heads at the other end of the floor, but flopping is just not a good look for Blake. He needs to stop it, he’s too good of a player, and hopefully he will.