If you thought the Clippers-Warriors rivalry couldn’t get any worse (or better?), add this incident to the collection. According to Arash Markazi of ESPN Los Angeles, Warriors center Jermaine O’Neal confronted Blake Griffin outside of the Clippers locker room after this Warriors were defeated by the Clips:
The two had a heated conversation that was quickly broken up by a Clippers official who led Griffin to the adjacent news conference room.
O’Neal, 35, had dressed and was waiting outside the Clippers’ locker room to talk to Griffin.
Griffin, who was walking to the news conference room to take questions from reporters, could be heard telling O’Neal to “leave that s— on the court” before the two were separated and briefly shook hands. (Jermaine O’Neal confronts Griffin)
While Griffin has had numerous run ins with opposing players on the court, this one takes the cake as O’Neal felt the need to address this situation on a more personal level with Griffin. And of course Griffin downplayed the situation to the media, stating that the situation was “between me and [O'Neal].
Markazi also noted that O’Neal received a technical foul for confronting the Clippers bench during the game, a situation in which he addressed Griffin. This scenario was likely the reason why Jermaine decided to meet with Griffin post game.
It’d be homer-esque to say that Griffin doesn’t do anything to the players that react physically to him, but not enough is seen for someone to approach him behind the scenes a la Kendrick Perkins-Zach Randolph scenario. And of all the players that Griffin has gotten into it with, Zach Randolph, Serge Ibaka and P.J. Tucker included, I’m not sure O’Neal is the player he wants to provoke as he has a history of not holding back against those that oppose him ie. the Malice at the Palace.
This situation makes us long for a Clippers-Warriors playoff series even more. If the playoffs started today the two would face off in a matchup of the third seed versus the sixth seed, but with a few weeks left anything can happen. Hopefully the basketball Gods gift-wrap this series for us.