In an interview with ESPN, Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant suggested that Los Angeles Clippers power forward Blake Griffin needs to physically defend himself after he is excessively fouled, according to NBC Sports.
“I’d smack the (expletive) 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.”
Bryant continued, “I saw Shaq crack somebody his first year. I did it my first few years. Sometimes people feel like they can take advantage of you, they hit you and this, that, and the other. 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.’ “
Because Griffin is shooting a dismal 52 percent from the foul line, players are increasingly fouling him to avoid being “posterized” and giving up a field goal. While it may be a good strategy to keep him from scoring an easy two, some players have gone too far when fouling Griffin, administering cheap shots and hard hits against the high-flying dunker. Opposing players such as New Orleans Hornet Jason Smith and Pheonix Sun Robin Lopez have been ejected for their hard fouls. However, many players are getting away with their increased and excessive defense on the Clippers star.