The Blake Show Comes To Town

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — When asked to come up with the last rookie that caused as much fear and drew as much attention for his play above the rim as Clippers’ All-Star Blake Griffin is this season, Hawks forward Marvin Williams needed a moment to think about it before answering.

“Wow, if it’s not LeBron James, it has to be either Dwight Howard or that fool over there,” Williams said, gesturing across the locker room to Josh Smith, the Hawks’ high-flying power forward who won the Sprite Slam Dunk Contest as a rookie. “It’s got to be one of those guys, in terms of putting people on posters.”

The Hawks will try to avoid getting caught in the frame tonight at Philips Arena, when the “Blake Show” (one of the many nicknames given to the fan-friendly Griffin’s movement) makes its one and only stop in Atlanta this season.

The other team from Los Angeles always draws a buzz when their traveling circus comes to town, just a few short miles from the hideout here. But the Clippers? This is new territory. But it’s no doubt a direct result of having Griffin, who was named to the Western Conference All-Star team last night, in uniform.

“He’s selling out the Staples Center,” Williams said smiling. “You know there’s going to be a buzz wherever he goes. And the way he’s playing, that makes perfect sense.”

Griffin is the first rookie All-Star since Tim Duncan in 1998.

The Hawks have a couple All -Stars of their own in Joe Johnson and Al Horford. And they have Smith, who remains one of the league’s flashiest above-the-rim performers.

But tonight is about Griffin and the show folks expect him to put on at the building dubbed the “Highlight Factory.” After this morning’s shootaround practice, Hawks players were warned to take care of any ticket requests they might have because a robust crowd was expected for the game.

“It’s like the Lakers are in town or something,” Smith joked. “That’s cool, though. We’ll have plenty of our fans out there shouting for us. So we feel good about that, too.”

While most of his peers agree that Griffin has energized the Clippers and casual fans of the game that are captivated by his exploits, not everyone is ready to lay out the red carpet for the rookie big man. Portland point guard Andre Miller, himself a former Clippers star, thinks it too much too soon. (Granted, he was lobbying for his teammate, LaMarcus Aldridge, to grab a spot.)

“They are putting this guy on every ESPN highlight,” Miller to the Oregonian. “Yeah, it’s cool because fans want to see that, but you isolate him from his team. Especially … he ain’t made nobody better. It’s basically his rookie year, as an All-Star? LeBron James didn’t make an All-Star team as a rookie … It’s all publicity and hype,’’ Miller ranted. “The league don’t appreciate the blue collar workers. They make their money off the high-flyers. It’s a slap in the face to L.A. He was supposed to make it. He was supposed to make it.”

Miller, it should be noted, was suspended for a game earlier this season after getting tussling with Griffin and then crashing into him under the basket, so he’s not exactly a fan.

And Aldridge made the HT All-Snub Team, and the argument for his inclusion on the team is legitimate. Just not at the expense of Griffin, whose appearance alone tonight will draw a thick crowd in a place that only the true stars can generate.

17 Comments

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  2. Always_Crappy_Losers_Union ACLU says:

    how can you miss a dunk geez. and then the 1 dat he did dunk Bosh waz betta. ah who cares like i said
    they got smashed anyhow. im out

  3. Always_Crappy_Losers_Union ACLU says:

    o yea and da Heat gonna crunch down the LACs 2nite man. packers>steelers major upset.

  4. Always_Crappy_Losers_Union ACLU says:

    he aint never gonna be no mvp ever, dats **** if you say so. cuz he just dosent hav it yet and i dont think
    he will who knos he may just be a big bust. dont think iam just pickin on him cuz dats bs i feel da same way wit wall,mayo,and a few other guys.

  5. LAKESHOW says:

    GOOD LUCK TO BLAKE! his hype is deserved, didnt you see his dunk on mosgov?

  6. NBAfan says:

    lol if blake griffing only dunk then how he average 13 rebounds and 4 assist.

    have you ever saw an entire game of the clippers?? blake is 6,9 or 6,10 and he can run whit the ball, he has pretty good post moves and a “decent jumper”, just give him 2 or 3 years and he will be a mvp

  7. Always_Crappy_Losers_Union ACLU says:

    oh yea and blake sucks @ free throws. just thought i put dat out there.

  8. Always_Crappy_Losers_Union ACLU says:

    my boi Kevin Love wood school him any day suckas dats just da truth lol. blake didnt deserve to go
    to the AS game cuz he hasnt proven himself yet,now if hes doing this 3-4 yrs down the line then ….yeah
    i guess he’ll be legit but 4 now hes not there ………yet anyway. now the dunk contest i hav no problem with
    but ya neva know could b major upset in the makin.

  9. Reason says:

    The fact that Blake CAN dunk so much with such ease is what makes me think that he won’t be washed out 2-3 years from now. And he has post-moves and is great finisher around the rim if you actually pay attention and watch games. As for Andre saying he doesn’t make his team better…. A guy averaging 12 plus rebounds, 22 plus points but still dishing 4 plus assists doesn’t exist in the league outside Griffin. The fact that he can draw double-teams (The game with the Mavs where he hurt his elbow) should only help his team play better.

  10. Always_Crappy_Losers_Union ACLU says:

    go andre you tell’em. people c’mon dis only his 1st PLAYINg season in 2-3 yrs he’ll be washed out.

    • High Griffinition dont lie says:

      Yes all he can do is dunk, dunk, dunk. Then again…ummm… who were some other players who could “only” dunk as rookies……oh yeah, lets see….MJ, Kobe, Lebron, Dwight, and Griffin! while I agree on the fact that hes not amazing in terms of overall skill, he plays to his strengths VERY well. Now that’s amazing.

      • Always_Crappy_Losers_Union ACLU says:

        and MJ,Kobe,LBJ,and superman all didnt just dunk dats ludacris 4 sure MJ didnt from day 1 he hittin fadeaways
        Js and defyin gravity so its bs if u say all MJ did as a rookie was dunk,c’mon lol.

      • LAKESHOW says:

        Well until last year all dwight did on offense was dunk! and im a kobe fan but he needs to start to pass the rock!!!

  11. Always_Crappy_Losers_Union ACLU says:

    this is so bs all he does is dunk dunk dunk big yawn,no jumpas no post moves nothin
    justs dunks hes getin a LITTLE boring now isnt he?

  12. Evan says:

    Yeah Andre, Blake Griffin hasn’t made anyone better, except for the entire Clippers team as a whole.

  13. trix says:

    Kobe has always been my favourite player ever since i was little. As he was getting old i’ve been getting this weird thought as to who will i be following after he leaves. I mean there are some great young players out there like lebron, wade, durant. But i dont really like any of them. But just in half a season blake griffin became my favourite player (sorry kobe)

  14. McVay says:

    I do agree that Blake is a little over-hyped by the media, but at the same time his stats don’t lie… that being said i totally think Kevin Love should be an all star if you’re going off of stats, even though he may not be as exciting as Blake.. if only flashy players were chosen for the all-star game then Tim Duncan would have never made it..
    I mean come on LOVE had a 30-30 game and several 20-20 games.. Shame on the coaches for not choosing him…
    P.S. BLAKE CAN DUNK!