Kyle Korver isn’t complaining about hard fouls this season because he’s never in the paint getting fouled. Jump-shooters don’t get fouled at all really, let alone hit hard, because they’re never attacking the basket. Derrick Rose and Blake Griffin are drivers, however, and make their respective livings by launching their bodies past anybody standing in between them and the goal. I’m not saying they should be fouled hard as a result because of that, but in the process they have been.
Neither guy is happy about it either, and Rose first mentioned as much on Monday according to Nick Freidell of ESPN.com after being hit across the face by a flagrant foul from Charlie Villanueva:
“I was mad,” Rose said. “I’m sick and tired of people trying to take cheap shots at me. You got to say something.”
Rose was fined $25,000 last month for making comments toward officials after a March 12 game against the New York Knicks.
“I’ve gotta be the only superstar in the league that’s going through what I’m going through right now,” Rose said at the time, referring to a lack of foul calls in his favor. “But I can’t say too much about it.”
This time, he took matters into his own hands. He felt it was time to stand up for himself against Villanueva.
“You got to,” Rose said. “He didn’t even aim for the ball. At least go for the ball. I felt like he didn’t and that’s the reason why I got mad a little bit.”
Rose isn’t sure why he feels like some players go after him.
“I really don’t know,” he said. “Probably because I don’t say anything or whatever, but I’m a man, where in situations like that you have to say something.”
Meanwhile, in Los Angeles, the rim punishing Blake Griffin is sick of getting drilled so much too. While he’s a much bigger dude than Rose, it still hurts a little bit when he gets nailed mid-air while soaring towards the basket.
He made his beef known to the Orange County Register this week as well:
“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.”
The most notable foul Griffin has taken this season happened at New Orleans, where Jason Smith shouldered Griffin to the ground on a fast break, earning an ejection and suspension.
The beating Griffin’s taken around the rim has impacted him on the court.
“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 has been whistled for 11 technical fouls this season, one of which has been rescinded. If Griffin is called for three more technicals this season, he’ll be suspended for one game.
“I won’t let it get to that point,” Griffin said. “You got fouled like that, and a lot of times, it doesn’t get called. That’s frustrating. But that’s on me. It’s not about the fouls. I can’t blame it on the fouls. I have to do a better job of controlling that.”
I personally think the reason these guys are getting fouled so much, and so hard, is because they’re simply so much more athletic than the bigs inside constantly trying to defend them as they attack the basket over and over again.
Guys like Chalie V aren’t able to react to a move from a guy like Rose quick enough to get into any type of defensive position to stop him within the context of the rules, assuming he could even if he did. The result is fouling, and in some cases maybe even hard fouling out of frustration from the very idea that they have no chance once Griffin or Rose make up their minds to go right by them.
It still hurts, but I’m not sure it’s something done in malice, that either guys should be worried about personally. Beyond the fact that it is painful, of course, which I do understand.