Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin brought the Staples Center crowd to its feet last night with a high-flying, acrobatic flop that drew a foul and sent him to the line.
"Most of the NBA's greatest floppers — your Vlade Divac, your Manu Ginobili — they took a bump and just fell backwards," said Clippers head coach Vinny Del Negro. "Blake has taken it to the next level. The NBA has never had someone this big and strong and athletic who also dives to the ground at the slightest contact. It's really something to witness."
Griffin's best flop of the night came in the second quarter when he drove the lane, had his left shoulder brushed into and then immediately snapped off a series of cartwheels, followed by a double, 360, twisting backflip that completed with on his back beyond the three-point line, writhing on the ground in faux pain.
"That was amazing," said Clippers point guard Chris Paul. "Some of the stuff he was doing in drawing that foul, you only see in Olympic gymnastics or diving. Oh, wow … diving. That would be a great second sport for Blake. He already kind of competes in it."
Griffin said he appreciates his teammate's compliment of his athleticism, but said that "I don't think I'd want to be an Olympic diver – the water probably hurts when you hit it." Griffin also admitted that he spends time working on his flops.
"I want to be known as a great basketball player and a champion, but I also know there are things fans expect to see when they see me play," he said. "And that takes practice. So, yes, I do practice flopping. I have a new one wear I take off from the foul line and flail backwards through the air all the way to half-court. It looks like something out of the 'Matrix.'"
The Clippers star is also shooting a new Kia commercial in which he drives the lane and then is fouled, launching him completely out of the arena, into orbit around Earth, and then back down into the Staples Center parking lot, through the windshield of a Kia Sportage, and into the driver's seat completely unscathed.
"No special effects," said Griffin. "I'm really proud of it."
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