Grizzlies' Zach Randolph (50) and Clippers' Blake Griffin… (Wally Skalij / Los Angeles…)
Oh, the irony.
One day after winning an award as the NBA's best teammate, Chauncey Billups said Monday on ESPN's "First Take" that Clippers forward Blake Griffin was "maybe too nice of a guy."
Asked by Stephen A. Smith about the perception that Griffin was relatively soft, Billups said: "I don't agree that Blake Griffin is soft. But what I will say about Blake is that he's maybe too nice of a guy. Because there's been times in games where people take shots at Blake. And I tell him if that's me, you're going to have to take this two- or three-game suspension, and I'm going to punish somebody.
"That's just how I'm built. Blake is not really built like that. He's too soft of a guy inside for him to be like, 'All right, I'm just going to hurt somebody.' He just won't do it. I wish he would, and I think that people would look at him a lot different if he did that. But he's just not that kind of person."
Asked why the Clippers lost in the first round of the playoffs when they were widely considered a team capable of advancing to the Western Conference finals, Billups said: "We failed to really do the details, the small, intangible things that help you get to this point in the season. We had all the talent and athleticism, all of that, but when you don't do all the small things, at some point they're going to show up, and they did."
Billups, who will be an unrestricted free agent next month after injuries limited him to 42 games over two seasons with the Clippers, praised Griffin's work ethic but said the Clippers should add "a veteran down low to help him ... to push him along a little faster."
Billups, 36, said he wanted to play a couple of more seasons. He said he would consider returning to the Clippers, but "I want to win, man. I think they're going in the right direction and they can take that next step and I would like to, if they want to do that, take that next step with them.
"But if not ..."
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