Blake Griffin opens up to Post ahead of Nets’ playoff opener

With the Nets’ first-round sequence towards the Celtics set to begin Saturday, ahead Blake Griffin takes a shot at some Q&A with Post columnist Steve Serby:

Q: You’ve recognized Kevin Durant for a very long time. When you look in his eyes now, what do you see?

A: You nonetheless see that very same … that he has that killer mentality. I believe at this level in his profession and his life, he’s simply snug with who he’s, snug being himself. And that’s what we want him to be.

Q: Do you bear in mind the primary time you noticed him play?

A: In highschool, simply his size and his talent for the way tall he was. Not simply scoring, however how he impacts the sport general. It’s one thing that so much of individuals who don’t play kinda overlook.

Q: From afar, what was your response when KD and Kyrie Irving joined the Nets collectively?

A: Those two guys, on the finish of video games, I don’t know … if there’s three guys you’d need to have the ball of their arms on the finish of video games, or 4 guys — I believe Dame [Damian Lillard] and KD and Kyrie are three of ’em. So after they joined up, it was like these are two guys that may go get you a bucket on the finish of video games, however when James [Harden] got here, it was kinda the identical factor.

Q: What makes Kyrie particular or distinctive?

A: It’s laborious to describe. He has the flexibility to get his shot in 100 other ways, and inside these 100 other ways, he has 4 or finishes off every totally different means. He shoots all of ’em it looks as if at a reasonably excessive proportion.

Q: What makes Harden particular or distinctive?

A: I believe his IQ. He’s proficient bodily, clearly, and might shoot, has a superb deal with and all that and passes very well, however his IQ is off the charts.

Blake Griffin
Corey Sipkin

Q: How does this workforce cope with championship-or-bust expectations?

A: You simply exit and play. That’s not likely our mantra, it’s not our focus. It’s about us, about being proper, being targeted, and if it occurs, it occurs.

Q: What is the mindset of your workforce?

A: One sequence at a time, one sport at a time. We’re not making an attempt to overlook anyone, we’re giving everyone the respect. We’re placing within the time this week and wish to come out and put our sport plan to motion.

Q: What do you want finest about this workforce?

A: I like our depth. Obviously James, KD and Ky are our Big 3, however we now have so much of good basketball gamers and guys who play laborious. It’s all the time enjoyable to play with guys like that.

Q: What would profitable an NBA championship imply to you?

A: It’s one thing I dreamed about for so long as I can bear in mind.

Q: What drives you at this stage of your profession?

A: My competitiveness continues to be the factor that drives me to at the present time, however profitable a championship, and likewise your legacy.

Q: Describe your on-court mentality.

A: My position might need modified, however my mentality doesn’t change. It’s all the time to have an effect on the sport in probably the most methods attainable and assist make the teammates higher.

Q: Playing for Steve Nash?

A: It’s been nice, man. He’s a really poised coach and clearly a man who is aware of what it’s like to be a participant on this league and (how) to play a sure fashion. It’s been a pleasure.

Q: What considerations you in regards to the Celtics?

A: Well-coached, very proficient they usually play laborious. This isn’t by any means a simple matchup. They obtained some gamers that may actually go get it, so we gotta be proper all sequence lengthy.

Q: How do you defend Jayson Tatum?

A: He’s an elite scorer at three totally different ranges on the court docket, so that you simply attempt to make it tough for him. He’s gonna rating, he’s too good of a participant not to, however you simply gotta be locked in and do it by committee, do it as a workforce, and take a look at to make it more durable for him.

Q: Brooklyn Nets followers?

A: The followers which might be ready to come to video games have been loud and nice. I’ve all the time thought Brooklyn had actually good followers. It’s kinda extra of a school ambiance than most NBA arenas.

Q: I learn that if you happen to may change locations with one individual, it will be Derek Jeter.

A: He’s identical to my favourite participant rising up. He was kinda like one of these guys who’s sorta untouchable within the sports activities world, like he simply did every part the appropriate means, stayed out of most controversies and stuff.

Q: When did you meet him?

A: I first met him 5 years in the past or so. longer than that. I had breakfast with him on the Beverly Hills Hotel. I used to be doing so much of stuff with The Players’ Tribune, he was simply kinda beginning that out. We simply met to simply kinda get to know one another, it was nice.

Q: Did he have any recommendation for you?

A: Just totally different tales and various things he stated. I kinda picked his mind in there, he was nice.

Q: Whatever comes to thoughts: David Stern?

A: Innovator. Changed the sport of basketball.

Q: Jamal Crawford?

A: The finest Sixth Man of all time.

Q: Aaron Judge?

A: Monster. Monster. Love watching him play.

Q: Do you have got a relationship with him?

A: Yeah, I truly met him. He got here to a sport when he was, I would like to say he was about to be drafted. He got here to a Clippers sport. I met him and his mother after one of the video games. She was like, “Oh, everybody tells him he looks like you.” Two years later, he’s already up within the massive leagues and killing, so I’ve been a fan of his, and we discuss from time to time.

Q: Kobe and Gigi?

A: Obviously gone too quickly, however Kobe, I imply, he’s a legend. Inspirational, and anyone I take into consideration so much.

Q: Your pal Wilson Holloway (who handed away in 2011)?

A: Ah man, that’s my man. His legacy for me carries on … will keep it up for the remaining of my life, to take the teachings that I realized from him for positive.

Q: What classes?

A: He was nonetheless going to apply, going to class, and doing chemo, doing all these remedies, not feeling nice, he would nonetheless take time and go round to kids’s hospitals, go meet individuals who had the identical type of most cancers [Hodgkin lymphoma] as he did. His message to everyone was all the time, “Just keep smiling.” That was kinda his motto, he was like one of these guys, he by no means had a nasty day. No matter what he was going by, he all the time had a smile on his face. “Just Keep Smiling” have been the final phrases he ever wrote to me.

Q: How do you know him?

A: I used to be buddies with him from after we have been youthful after which by highschool, we performed in highschool collectively, and he went and performed soccer on the University of Tulsa.

Blake Griffin goes up for a dunk.

Q: Favorite playoff second?

A: Winning Game 7 [in 2014] towards Golden State after we had that complete sit-down with [disgraced Clippers owner Donald] Sterling deal. It occurred after Game 3 of that sequence. It was so much of emotion … steal Game 7 and the place went loopy.

Q: The Sterling controversy (when he made racist feedback on tape)?

A: We wished to make it recognized that we clearly didn’t condone any of that, we have been towards it, however on the similar time, we have been taking part in for the followers and for one another, and never him.

Q: One massive man in NBA historical past you would check your abilities towards?

A: I’d need to play towards Hakeem [Olajuwon], simply to see all of the strikes he had, his arsenal. I’ve heard he had the perfect footwork, probably the most strikes and all that, so I’d need to see that up shut in individual.

Q: Do you assume you would have performed tight finish within the NFL?

A: Yeah, I believe so. So much of basketball guys have made that crossover. I like to guess on myself.

Q: What positions did you play in highschool?

A: I used to be a large receiver and I used to be like a free security on the time.

Q: Athletes in different sports activities you’ve admired?

A: I liked watching Adrian Peterson on the University of Oklahoma. The tales I’ve heard about him, his work ethic, the way in which he ran the ball. AP and Derek Jeter for positive.

Q: You’ve been on the quilt of GQ — what else is in your bucket record?

A: So much of issues in life, however basketball-wise, to win a championship for positive.

Q: Favorite comic?

A: Dave Chappelle.

Q: Three dinner company?

A: Obama; Martin Luther King; Richard Pryor.

Q: You stated Dave Chappelle was your favourite comic.

A: Well I had dinner with Dave, so…

Q: Favorite film?

A: “Superbad.”

Q: Favorite actor?

A: Mahershala Ali.

Q: Favorite actress?

A: Zoe Kravitz.

Q: Favorite meal?

A: Spicy rigatoni from Carbone.

Q: Favorite NYC restaurant?

A: Carbone.

Q: You all the time thought the emphasis, particularly early, in your dunking overshadowed different elements of your sport.

A: I’ve all the time been ready to deal with the ball properly and I used to be frequently engaged on my sport. That kinda put me on this gap, however now I kinda see it for what it’s. When I began out, that was all individuals stated, and now all of the individuals say I can’t do this anymore. Criticism now doesn’t actually trouble me.

Q: Your all-time favourite dunk?

A: I believe the one on Kendrick Perkins.

Q: Is this the profession you envisioned or imagined?

A: To be trustworthy, I’m simply targeted on the place I’m within the current, getting higher. I don’t actually take into consideration the profession I would like as a result of wins, losses, and all that, generally you simply have to take the great with the unhealthy and roll with it. But I’m proud of the profession I’ve had.

Q: Your message to Brooklyn Nets followers?

A: We take this very significantly, we don’t take something without any consideration. We’ve put within the work, and we would like do that for town.

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