The Los Angeles Clippers say they are tired of seeing Blake Griffin take hard fouls this season and have both vowed to protect him and called on the league office to do more to discourage hits such as the Suns’ Robin Lopez‘s dangerous clothesline of Griffin last Thursday.
Kobe Bryant, long an admirer of Griffin and his aggressive style, offered up some different advice.
“I’d smack the f— 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.”
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Bryant said he endured similar physical challenges from opponents early in his career. He took his cue on how to deal with it by watching his then-teammate Shaquille O’Neal.
“At some point, you have to protect yourself,” Bryant said. “I’ve had to do it many times in my career. I’ve seen Shaq do it many times, too. Some guys you just don’t mess with.
“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.’ ”
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