The Los Angeles Clippers have taken some heat lately for not protecting their star, Blake Griffin. While Blake takes hard fouls — some of them flagrant — on a consistent basis, his teammates are said to stand idly by. The implication being: if Blake gets fouled, his teammates should be putting a hurt on the other team. Well, DeAndre Jordan got the message, and now he’s talking like Joe Pesci in every mobster movie you’ve ever seen.
According to ESPN, the Clippers are now “vowing to protect” Blake after analysts like Charles Barkley called them out for not doing so. Here’s what Jordan said when asked about it.
“If Blake gets fouled, I can’t go punch someone in the nose,” Jordan said. “We can’t do that but throughout the course of a game, other fouls happen to other players on the opposite team and if they happen to be hard fouls, they happen to be hard fouls. We’re going to protect our teammates; it doesn’t matter who it is.”
That’s a line that could be taken straight out of Goodfellas, or The Godfather. It’s like: so, look, I’m not saying anything bad is gonna happen to ya, alright? But if you don’t pay us, certain things might happen to certain people. And those certain things could be bad. They could be painful. They could hurt you. I’m not saying they will, but they might be. If it is, whaddaya gonna do, huh? If it’s you, if it’s your mother, if it’s your dog — I can’t say. If you pay us, this goes away. If you don’t… well, I’ll let you see what happens.
It’s reminiscent of ’90s basketball, before flagrant fouls had numbers attached to them and gritty, hard-nosed play was considered a “style.” Now, of course, things are a little different and players can’t go out with the intention of hurting one another. But if it allows for more mobster double-speak like this in interviews, then so be it. Perhaps Martin Scorcese will replace Vinny Del Negro as head coach next year.
Here’s Charles Barkley venting about this topic a few days ago, which perhaps inspired the Clippers to “speak” out about this. He also laces into Griffin for not being a better player, and Kenny Smith insults Shaq’s free throw shooting (much to the Diesel’s dismay). You can stop watching once Shaq starts talking, as always: