Los Angeles Clippers star Blake Griffin refuses to dwell on the fact that he is considered “soft” in some NBA circles, claiming that he’s willing to demonstrate his toughness to any opponent that’s willing to meet him off the court.
In an interview with ESPN, Griffin spoke out on the “soft” label, discussing his thought process in dealing with the situation. "I've never really worried about being called soft or people thinking I'm soft," Griffin told ESPN. "If anybody wants to step and take that challenge I'm more than happy -- off the court -- because I don't want to get suspended. It's not something that I dwell on. I've never really had a problem with being soft."
Griffin’s comments stem from an interview that Clippers teammate Chauncey Billups gave to ESPN. During an appearance on the network’s show “First Take,” Billups denied that Griffin was too soft, but suggested that the star forward might be “too nice,” a trait that opponents sometimes exploit to their advantage.
"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," Billups said. "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.
After denying the “soft” label, Griffin spoke out about Clippers point guard and franchise player Chris Paul’s decision to re-sign with the squad. During the interview, Griffin claimed that he hadn’t bothered to pressure Paul into signing his five-year, $107 million contract, as he was confident that the team’s significant strides in recent years would be enough to convince him to stay in Los Angeles. "I think we've done our job to show him I think we can win here," Griffin told ESPN.
He also expressed his excitement about playing for Doc Rivers, the Clippers’ new head coach. "With Doc coming in and bringing his staff and kind of mixing some of the staff we have left over, everybody is really excited, feels the energy, feels the enthusiasm," Griffin said.