Clippers center Blake Griffin has said, and written, plenty of intelligent things lately. One of those things wasn't his comments on Friday about getting fouled aggressively.
In the Clippers' preseason game against the Utah Jazz, Griffin was hacked by the Jazz's Trevor Booker and nearly took off after him. Griffin grabbed Booker by the back of the head but then the two were separated.
"I was going to, but then I thought, 'It's preseason,' " Griffin told ESPNLosAngeles. "It's not worth it. That's not the person I want to waste it on."
What's it mean?
It's fine to defend yourself, but owning that he's close to reacting isn't a good idea. "Yeah, probably,” Griffin said about if he is close.
“I'm not going to do it for no reason or if it's not warranted and I didn't feel that was."
The problem with doing that is that it puts a target on Griffin. Any player can take a Bill Laimbeer-like attitude into a game and get Griffin in trouble by going after him aggressively.
It's happened for years in sports and Griffin shouldn't have admitted the weakness.
"You don't ever want him to do anything but he gets hit with more cheap shots than anybody in the league," Clippers coach Doc Rivers said Friday. "I don't even think it's close."
Why is it dumb?
Well, the Clippers are one of the Western Conference favorites. But, with the conference so stacked at the top, each game will be crucial for playoff seeding.
The Clippers will have to take advantage of Kevin Durant's injury and absence to jump out to a lead in the conference standing. Because, once Durant returns, we know the Thunder can play with anyone.
All that means that, if Griffin were to retaliate in a dumb fashion and miss time, it could be extremely costly for the contender, who right now looks to have a health advantage.
"I'm glad [he didn't] because we need him,” teammate Chris Paul said. “A lot of times in those situations, we need him a lot more than the other team needs the person that usually [aggravates him]. It's tough. Blake is unbelievable to show that patience. I think that's one of the most selfless things that he does all season long because even though he wants to react personally, he sacrifices for the team."
For the Clippers' sake, Griffin shouldn't have admitted his weakness. For his teammates' sake, Griffin will now have to do whatever he can to avoid that impulse and keep his reputation clean.