Remember that one time, when:
Of course you do. So does Blake Griffin.
In his latest piece for the athlete-run online magazine The Players' Tribune, Blake admits that the screams from the haters don't actually have a nice ring to it--and the shock surrounding that sweet game-winning J was, ya know, hurtful.
I don’t understand why everybody was so surprised when it went in.
Hurtful, you guys.
For real though, that shot was huge for me personally. Do I like a jam or two? Sure. I do it for the children. But honestly, there’s nothing more satisfying than hitting a jumper. People have been telling me I couldn’t shoot since I came into the league. I remember when I was drafted Skip Bayless even said that I would never amount to anything more than "a poor man’s Dennis Rodman."
Dang, Skip. I can’t even be a middle class Rodman?
This season, it seems Blake has preferred to use his jumper versus opting to jump over people in order to score--Clips Nation's resident stat freak Justin Russo (FlyByKnight) tells me that nearly 48% of his shots this season are outside the paint, and he's nailing 41% of them.
For so long, all I heard was "The Clippers will never win because they don’t have a big who can knock down a mid-range jumper." And you know what’s crazy to me? I don’t think I’d care as much if people were constantly critiquing my game if I didn’t work as hard as I try to work. Sometimes I’m like, "Man, what am I working for? People just want to see me throw down a lob."
Blake speaks on his hours in the gym with shooting coach Bob Thate, the hundreds of thousands of jump shots he's put up in practice, everything he was doing wrong mechanically, and that shooting a ball in the NBA is kinda harder than you'd think.
You hear all the time that a player needs to "fix" their shot or improve their defense, but what some people don’t understand is that it takes hundreds of hours to make that tiny difference at an elite level. Why? Because other guys are spending hundreds of hours working on whatever you’re trying to stop. While I’m shooting with Bob, Tyson Chandler is in a gym somewhere trying to contest shots better and make me sad.
He also references this #hurtful moment below as motivation to get that jumper right.
Read Blake's entire piece on The Players' Tribune here.