Griffin, Jordan Must Work Out Their Issues For The Clippers To Make A Title Run
Jeremiah Short, The Current Voice
We all saw it. We all loved it. Now, the Los Angeles Clippers wish it never happened.
When DeAndre Jordan posterized/social media killed Brandon Knight last month, the whole sporting world was abuzz. Twitter exploded. Memes chronicled the event. Jordan “dunk face” shirts were made. And one other thing happened: Jordan became a “star.”
Blake Griffin’s lovable sidekick, who pranks and photo bombs teammates, wasn’t a sidekick anymore. Lebron James dunks a ball, and it’s compared to Jordan’s. People were waiting to see what Jordan did next, not Griffin. And Jordan had the “Juice,” not Griffin.
It’s was inevitable that friction would arise between the two off the court. With the Clippers sporting a 5-6 record since the Knight dunk, it started to show up on it.
T.J. Simers, a LA Times columnist who is known for stirring the pot, wrote a column exposing just how much Jordan and Griffin’s immaturity was hurting the team.
According to Simers, Jordan has a non-existent relationship with Head Coach Vinny Del Negro, due to lack of playing time.
Jordan is also starting to publicly argue with Griffin.“The other night in Sacramento, Griffin and Jordan exchanged words on the bench. Griffin told Jordan he best never again stare him down as he did when Griffin failed to give Jordan a good pass for a dunk,”wrote Simers.
When Jordan and Griffin aren’t going at each other, they are voicing their displeasure with Chris Paul, the team’s superstar point guard.
“The pair have also grown tired of Chris Paul’s voice, which is understandable at times.”
“Paul, very much like Kobe Bryant — who has turned off Dwight Howard with his out-of-this-world standards — is relentless. He never shuts up. And Jordan and Griffin have become weary of him.”
Even if Simers’ column was meant to stir the pot, the Clippers have some serious issues. Jordan not speaking to Del Negro is a big deal. The team’s best big men not getting along is a big deal. And the team chemistry getting destroyed because of it is a very big deal.
Griffin and Jordan have to settle their differences for the betterment of the team. No matter who is fault.
Griffin doesn’t need to get over anything. Jordan is one that owes him, not the other way around. Mr.Dunk Face got a 4 year, $43 million dollar contract because Blake wanted him to be a Clipper.
Stephen A. Smith said the same thing on First Take Friday. But you’re both wrong. Griffin needs Jordan. The same way Jordan needs Griffin. Without Jordan’s presence, everyone would find out that Griffin is a pick-and-roll, run-and-jump power forward void of a legitimate post game and the required defensive skills to be considered an élite player. Jordan might owe his contract to Griffin, but he’s earning it.
That’s right. Griffin’s turrible.
Charles Barkley, I’m not going to allow you to hijack my column. Save those quips for Inside The NBA.
There’s no reason for Griffin or Jordan to get bashed by anyone. They are just learning to deal with expectations for the first time.
Bump all that. How these boys going to have beef with CP3? There wouldn’t be a “Lob City” without him. I bet they’ll miss those lobs if he leaves as a free agent this summer.
Their displeasure with Paul is overblown. Teammates get tired of each other all the time. I’m sure Kevin Durant gets tired of Russell Westbrook’s bad fashion sense. I’m sure WOW(Way of Wade) gets tired of Lebron trying to hide his receding hairline with those triple-sized head bands. I’m sure that Dwight gets tired of Kobe taking 20 ill-advised shots a game. And I’m definitely sure Jay-Z gets tired of Kanye West trying to wife up Kim Kardashian.
And Paul’s not going anywhere. Where is he going to go? Atlanta. Detroit. Houston. Utah. Dallas. Child Please!!
Amid the drama, the person who should be worried about the team’s chemistry is Del Negro. His job depends on it. A quick exit from the playoffs could result in him going from the hot seat to the unemployment line. Stan Van Gundy is already a rumored replacement.
There are two adjustments that Del Negro can make to calm the waters and save his job.
1. Feed Jordan Early: Jordan is a liability late in games because of the “Hack-A-Shaq” strategy employed by opponents. So, Del Negro could feed Jordan early in the game to keep him happy. Jordan should be upset that Griffin averages 13.4 shots a game, while he averages a mere 5.9. Jordan’s post game is strong enough where that discrepancy shouldn’t exist. This solution could remedy that.
2. Cut The Strays Out The Rotation: This season, one of the biggest gripes from Jordan, Griffin and Paul is their playing time getting cut. Call them selfish, but they want their numbers. Cutting part-time players–Ryan Hollins(10.5 minutes per game), Ronny Turiaf(10.9 minutes per game) and Willie Green(16.6 minutes per game)–out the rotation should create more minutes for the stars–38 to be exact.
Making those adjustments wouldn’t solve everything. But it would placate the stars before the Western Conference playoffs. It’s a West with no clear-cut favorite.
The Thunder are less formidable without James Harden, who balanced out Durant and Westbrook. Manu Ginoboli’s hamstring injury dampens the Spurs’ chances at a title run. Dalino Gallinari’s season-ending ACL injury makes the Denver Nuggets less dangerous. And with four of their last six games versus non-playoff teams, the Clippers can avoid the Memphis Grizzlies, who nobody wants to play, by surpassing Gallinari-less Nuggets for the third seed.
The Clippers time is now. If Jordan and Griffin don’t realize it,though, “Lob City” will become “Sob City.” Even the “Dunk of the Year” won’t dry those tears.
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