As the Clippers inch closer to the playoffs, the one player who has risen as a leader this year is Blake Griffin. Blake has evolved his game over his four-year career. Going from a one-dimensional player who was only known for his dunks, to more of a complete player. His numbers this year have earned him a place in the MVP conversation but that appears to be a two-man race with Griffin, the odd man out. The one knock on Blake is his flashy style of play. By that, I mean his dunks and his annoying demeanor on the court. His dunks usually make the ESPN highlight reel and constantly display Blake posterize some poor opposing player who was only trying to defend the rim. Blake’s highlight reels and occasional flops have caused some animosity toward him and the rest of the Clippers, who maybe rubbing others the wrong way.
It begs the question, is Blake Griffin rubbing others the wrong way? The answer, of course, is Yes! Blake rubs others the wrong way and may see a pleasure in doing it. His game was built on dunks, and when “Lob City” came to LA three years ago, Blake soared to the rim and has since dunked on every possible soul who has placed themselves in his presence.
The “Lob City” identity, that the Clippers established when Chris Paul arrived three years ago, has not gone away. It’s an identity that Blake Griffin continues to display every chance he gets. It’s not a bad thing that the Clippers are stuck with the identity, but the reality is the identity has never seen any success in the playoffs. Sure it’s fun during a long 82 game season, but opposing teams tend to lock down that kind of up-tempo offense that the Clippers like to play during the season. In order for Blake and company to make a deep playoff run this year, rubbing others the wrong way and having more of the “Lob City” identity may garner more success.
Having success is the goal for the Clippers, if they truly want to take over Los Angeles (L.A.). In order for that to happen, the Clippers are going to have to rub others the wrong way, and maybe that’s what Blake has done all along. Showing off his new arsenal of moves, while staying true to his roots. But maybe it’s a jealously thing or no one thinks Griffin will retaliate when he catches an elbow to the face. As Blake Griffin has done all season, not retaliate! Opposing teams know it, but that tactic can sometimes back fire. The Clippers have been a sleeping giant, who can score points in bunches, and dunk on opposing players with pleasure.
In a deep and tough Western Conference, Blake Griffin has earned his strips as one of the top 10 players in the league. Not just off of his flashy play, but as a superstar. He’s what the Clippers represent: flashy, tough, and driven to win. Those traits can only translate to success if the Clippers continue to cash in off of Blake’s in your face attitude. This year could lead to a possible finals birth.
Rubbing others the wrong way has worked for Blake Griffin. He doesn’t care who’s trying to get in his way, and the rest of his Clipper teammates have responded well with every possible knock on them as a team. They thrive to be the favorites but are still shown the underdog card, even with the talented team that they have now. Blake Griffin is going to have to continue his path of rubbing others the wrong way because he is the key to the Clippers’ success. Besides, rubbing others wrong and being disliked are what makes contenders into champions, and Blake Griffin may show us the way.
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