Less than a week ago, I sat down with longtime NBA broadcaster Mike Breen to talk about Doc Rivers and the Clippers and as much as I could squeeze into about a 10-minute window with one of the sport's most venerable, and busy, commentators.
Of everything I asked Breen, the question that seemed to resonate most was about Blake Griffin. Why is one of the top young players, who by all accounts is a hard-working and likeable marvel of athleticism, so oft criticized? Why is it as commonplace to hear Charles Barkley take seemingly unprovoked shots at Griffin?
"It drives me crazy," said Breen, who has called the past nine NBA Finals for ABC. "The guy, he puts up incredible numbers. He's helped the team win a lot of games, more than the franchise has ever won. Does he have some flaws in his game? Absolutely, but it's not like he's not working at it. He's got a great work ethic. There have been very few, if any, perfect players, and I think it's unfair that he gets that."