– You played on a Clipper team. You’ve had to go to practice and face Blake Griffin. So just tell me straight out, was he hard to defend?
– For me personally, no.
– OK, why?
– I’m a defensive guy. I know tendencies. I know things you can do, can’t do, so I’m going to force you to do those things. That’s why it was the same way when I played against him. It was the same way. Helluva athlete, great talent.
– Yeah. No dispute there.
– But no. For me, it wasn’t the most difficult person to guard. But he gave other people fits.
– Why didn’t he give you fits? Because you actually do your homework and you’re physical.
– Yeah. All of the above. All the intangibles that people don’t see.
– OK. So this is my point. For veteran, smart players, it should be noted. That’s who ends up in the playoffs.
– OK. You go in a lot of regular season games, teams aren’t rested, good matchups, injury– playoff basketball is about facing guys like you who watch tapes. By the way, you’ve got to play the same guys every night. There’s no tricks. Do your homework. And to you, Blake Griffin was a guy that you didn’t struggle to defend.
– Yeah, nah. Like I said, I could force him to do things that I wanted him to do and take the shots that I wanted him to take, rather than you’re guarding a guy like, just kind of like Tim Duncan or Dirk, where you can prepare for one thing and they can give you a different look. You can guard them a certain way. They gonna make tough shots. They gonna get it off. But I could force Blake to do things that I wanted him to do.
COLIN COWHERD: Do you know what I noticed? The longer he was in LA, the softer he got. That was my theory.
– Yeah. That’s the way people looked at him.
COLIN COWHERD: They did look at him like that?
– Yeah, because the way his career started. Certain things went on early on that didn’t get addressed by him.
COLIN COWHERD: What do you mean?
– People talking to him a certain way, people fouling him a certain way, and there’s no reaction to it.
COLIN COWHERD: So you could push him around.
Yeah, that’s what people thought. He looked good, the muscles and all of that. But, nah. Like, that’s what people looked at. For me, I was never the biggest guy on the block.
– Played power forward at 225.
COLIN COWHERD: Yeah, but you’re kind of a badass. [INAUDIBLE]
– But– but it’s just– it’s a certain mentality that you can play with and that you bring to the table that people respect on more than just a basketball level. Like, people respect Blake’s game on a basketball level, but I think that’s where it stops.