Last week Shawn Kemp made some comments about Blake Griffin’s winning dunk at the Slam Dunk contest. Kemp was less than impressed with the winning dunk and even went as far as to call it weak despite the rookie human highlight film jumping over a car. If you missed the post it can be found here.
Since that time, Kemp’s comments have gone viral and he was extremely surprised by the attention he received in the news. Kemp appeared on KJR yesterday for his weekly spot and wanted to make sure that he cleared up his comments. The “Reignman” also gave praise to Griffin’s game this time as opposed to criticizing his winning dunk.
Shawn Kemp joined KJR in Seattle with Dave “Softy” Mahler to talk about the comments he made about Blake Griffin last week, whether or not he thinks he could beat Griffin in a game of one-on-one, and what he makes of the refereeing now as opposed to when he was playing.
What he thinks of Blake Griffin as a player and who would win in a game of one-on-one between him and Griffin:
“Blake Griffin is awesome and if you watched his game last night, he showed you want he can do. I think he’s a good player and reminds me of myself a lot. He’s one of the few guys that really do. I think a lot of him. I know last week we said some things about that last dunk that he had jumping over a car. The one thing I want everyone to know is throughout my career and even now I never want to criticize a player and I don’t want to criticize any of these young guys because I think all of them are good and fantastic. I think the guys playing the game today are a little faster than we were. Maybe just a little faster, but I think we were stronger and more physical. We played a more physical game. In a one-on-one competition it would be tough for Blake because I was much more of a physical player than he is so he would have a tough time with that and I was a little more agile so he would’ve had a strength problem. He does remind me of myself a lot. The only few things he has to work on are doing things a little easier.”
What he thinks of the refereeing in the NBA now as opposed to when he was playing:
“First of all I think the referee like any player was always suspect. I’m not saying this just to be funny. They called me for way too many fouls. I never had a problem with the referees in the NBA until the Phoenix Suns series in ’93. When we played that series it really made me start to look at that game a little bit different. I don’t think there’s a big problem with the referees but I do think that the referees ref so much and so long in the NBA that I do think they are very judgmental on players and on calls they’re going to make. I don’t think they’re intent, but I think sometimes they’re judgmental. (Host: Does it get personal?) I believe it can get personal, but I don’t believe that the referees necessarily come out and force the action. I think sometimes the players may force the action more than the referee. I think there’s a thin line between respect between the players and the referee but it should be a bigger line.”