When Lakers star, Kobe Bryant offers advice to younger players about the nature of the NBA, it behooves the young pups to listen. Well, unless the conversation involves women.
In this case, Blake Griffin of the Los Angeles Clippers is on the receiving end of sage advice from his elder and in typical Kobe fashion, it is very direct and honest. Bryant encouraged Griffin to defend himself against hard fouls even if it means he comes to fisticuffs.
“I’d smack the f— out of somebody,” Bryant told ESPNLosAngeles.com on Wednesday.
“I’ve known him for a while and he’s a really nice guy so I don’t know if he’d want to do that. But I would. I would’ve done it early in the year. At some point, you have to protect yourself, Bryant said. I’ve had to do it many times in my career. I’ve seen Shaq do it many times, too. Some guys you just don’t mess with.
“Sometimes you have to say, ‘Look, you’re not going to do this to me. I’ll take two games but you’re not going to put my health at risk by injuring me potentially. It’s not going to happen.’
Griffin has been subjected to huge hits throughout his two year career. Earlier this season, New Orleans Hornet, Jason Smith was suspended 2 games for a flagrant foul he levied against Griffin. Recently, during the commission of a loss to the Phoenix Suns, Robin Lopez was ejected for a flagrant foul against Griffin.
Griffin’s teammate, Deandre Jordan has seen enough.
“I feel like people are intentionally trying to hurt him,” Clippers center Jordan told ESPN. ”It’ll all come back around.”
Jordan, rather passive aggressively, promised retribution if the fouls continue.
“If Blake gets fouled, I can’t go punch someone in the nose,” Jordan said. “We can’t do that but throughout the course of a game, other fouls happen to other players on the opposite team and if they happen to be hard fouls, they happen to be hard fouls. We’re going to protect our teammates; it doesn’t matter who it is.”