Blog Entry

Gentry: Griffin is 'best athlete in the league'

Posted on: December 26, 2010 7:22 pm
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LOS ANGELES – The best game of the weekend at Staples Center wasn’t on Christmas Day, but the day after. And it didn’t involve Kobe Bryant, LeBron James or Dwyane Wade, but rather a budding superstar whom one of the top coaches in the NBA called “the best athlete in the league” on Sunday. 

His name, of course, is Blake Griffin. And he does things like this

In front of a rare sellout crowd at Staples – for a Clippers game, that is – Griffin stole the holiday weekend show with his 18th consecutive double-double as L.A. beat the Suns 108-103. Griffin had 28 points and 12 rebounds, but that wasn’t the miracle. The miracle was that the Clippers figured out how to close out a tight game with Griffin sitting on the bench after fouling out with 2:52 left. 

After some nervous moments down the stretch, including a shot-clock violation in the face of the Suns’ improved defense after last week’s trade, the Suns cut the Clippers’ lead on Mickael Pietrus’ corner 3-pointer with 22.5 seconds left. But Pietrus, who came from Orlando with Marcin Gortat and Vince Carter in the trade that sent Hedo Turkoglu, Jason Richardson and Earl Clark to Orlando, still giveth and taketh away. His turnover, forced by Eric Gordon as the Suns were angling for a 3-pointer to send the game to overtime, let the Clippers survive without their athletic and emotional leader. 

“He’s the best athlete in the league right now,” Suns coach Alvin Gentry said. “As a big guy, if guys are going to throw lobs and stuff like that, there’s nobody that’s even remotely close right now. You have to make him into a basketball player. You have to make him make basketball plays, not athletic plays. In the first half we let him make all of these athletic plays. And with Grant [Hill] guarding him, we made him make basketball plays. I’m pretty sure if you look at the time Grant guarded him, I don’t think he got a basket.” 

The Clippers (9-22) are a .500 team over their last 10 games, and with Griffin’s talent and attitude, there is reason to believe this team is heading for better days. 

“They’ve got good young players and they’ve done a good job with them,” Gentry said. “I think you’ll continue to see them get better over time. They got off to a rough start, but it’s not so much that. Are you getting better? Are you building up? You can see that they’re getting better.” 

The driving force is Griffin, a freakish athlete who has an emotional edge to go with his talent. He refused to back down from Hill, a savvy, 38-year-old veteran who was a year away from his freshman season at Duke when Griffin was born. After absorbing a hard hip-check from Pietrus on his way to the basket in the fourth, Griffin stood over the bodies that had fallen in his wake like bowling pins and screamed. He ran to the defense of teammate Al-Farouq Aminu, who moments earlier had been pulled down by Pietrus on a transition layup attempt. 

Gentry is right about Griffin’s athleticism, and the rookie is something else the Clippers have lacked for too long: a superstar with attitude, and by that I mean a good attitude.
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Comments

Since: Sep 28, 2006
Posted on: December 27, 2010 6:05 pm
 

Gentry: Griffin is 'best athlete in the league'

I call him the Notorious BG...



Since: Jan 19, 2009
Posted on: December 27, 2010 5:43 pm
 

Gentry: Griffin is 'best athlete in the league'

Blake Griffin is simply an amazing athlete to watch.  His drive and ability are second to none in the league and he is such a fierce competitor.  I wish he played for a better team but he'll get his chance eventually.  If he's this good now I can't even imagine how good he is going to be when he becomes a free agent.



Since: Jul 13, 2010
Posted on: December 27, 2010 4:37 pm
 

Gentry: Griffin is 'best athlete in the league'

Griffin is crazy. This guy is sick. His explosiveness, and everything. Needs to work on free throws though. Imagine what he will be like in 2 years with his work ethic.



Since: Jun 14, 2010
Posted on: December 27, 2010 1:21 pm
 

Gentry: Griffin is 'best athlete in the league'

The best athlete to ever come out of Oklahoma.. Jus think how good he's gonna be in 2 yrs.



Since: Oct 11, 2006
Posted on: December 27, 2010 12:51 pm
 

Gentry: Griffin is 'best athlete in the league'

Wow, i am thinking that Griffin and Bradford will be rookies of the year in their respected leagues this year. Blake Griffin may not have the wins of a Bradford, BUT he's exciting and it's not like it's his fault the team struggles. As for Bradford, he has both the numbers and (in the West) the wins, a win next week and he's in the playoffs.



Since: Aug 14, 2006
Posted on: December 27, 2010 12:32 pm
 

Gentry: Griffin is 'best athlete in the league'

I see my nickname post was late but I still like "The Reaper". You should not let your wife and kids see this guy dunk on you because they will start looking for the life insurance policy.



Since: Aug 18, 2006
Posted on: December 27, 2010 12:17 pm
 

Gentry: Griffin is 'best athlete in the league'

I just watched that one handed alley oop and I have to say I am becoming a little desensitized.  My initial though was, "I have seen at least a dozen or so better dunks from Griffin this year".  He is a total monster.  It would be nice to see the Clippers be something other than a punchline for a change.  This kid is the real deal.




Since: Oct 18, 2008
Posted on: December 27, 2010 11:43 am
 

Gentry: Griffin is 'best athlete in the league'

I think Gentry had it right. He's simply the best athlete in the league.



Since: Oct 16, 2007
Posted on: December 27, 2010 11:39 am
 

Gentry: Griffin is 'best athlete in the league'

I agree with an earlier post.........Boomer Sooner!!!

He will retire in Los Angeles........Lakers will make a trade for him in two years, the Clippers can't afford to pass up.  Lakers will "retool" around Grif and the Lake show will continue.

Looking for a nickname??  How about "Thunder sCream"



Since: Nov 7, 2007
Posted on: December 27, 2010 10:40 am
 

Gentry: Griffin is 'best athlete in the league'

Boomer Sooner!


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