Monday, October 4th, 2010 at 11:00 am  |  70 responses

Blake Griffin: Being Compared to Karl Malone, LeBron James

Though the public at large has seen very little of Blake in the L, his teammates can’t stop gushing about him. From the LA Times: “Suspense about the progress of the Clippers will officially end Tuesday in Portland, the first of their eight preseason games. But forward Craig Smith, most helpfully, provided something of a shortcut, a guest primer on all things Griffin. Smith was asked if Griffin was 98.9% back after having missed all of last season because of a stress fracture in his left kneecap. ’159.7531 percent,’ he said, smiling. ‘Blake’s looking real good. He’s determined. I’m happy for him. Happy he’s back on the court. You know he’s going to do some special things this year.’ A few minutes later, he got much more specific about Griffin’s considerable talents. ‘I can say this. I never played against Karl Malone,” Smith said. “But he has the strength of Karl Malone but can run and jump like LeBron James. He can definitely make LeBron plays, defensively. Out in the open, he can make something special happen. He’s kind of like a specialist. He has the best of both worlds. The physical strength, the power and he can run like a deer. I wouldn’t be surprised if he was running a 40-yard dash with a car in the way, if he wouldn’t hurt the car versus hurting himself.’”

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  • Maza

    I think he’s already missed more games than Malone did his entire career

  • http://www.slcdunk.com AllThatAmar

    wow. shows how smart the Rhino is, because he doesn’t know that Malone was one of the best at his size to run the floor. Yeah, not much of a jumper, but his momentum was there before LeBron got all this hype.

  • JTaylor21

    I BELIEVE it all; dude is that good and will definitely win ROY. I do think that he’s more like a bigger, faster, more athletic Amare. Memo to all the big guys in the league; WATCH YOUR HEAD!


    I can not wait to see BG play this year. I can see him getting around 20 and 9.

  • rich

    hard for bigs to win roy but he has a shot at it
    good luck to him this year

  • Ben

    Sounds like someone forgot how much of a beast Karl Malone was

  • http://www.slamonline.com/ niQ

    Well the hype has been growing since last season, let’s see how he does on the court now. All ‘159.7531 percent’ of him.

  • http://slamonline BossTerry

    I cant wait to see him play either.. Im not gonna assume anything just yet.. Laettner had a pretty solid college career too…

  • http://slamonline.com Kap

    I gotta agree with my boy JTaylor on that one. Dude is the second coming of Amare but actually gets physical.

  • Cizzo

    B.G. hit his head against the backboard on a baseline flush, wheh he came down from the dunk that ended his season last year it seem like he was dropped out of airplane! this kid is built for this style of play in the league, he’s destine to be a superstar!

  • a_whiteman

    lets hope he doesnt play D like amare!

  • http://theurbangriot.com The Nupe

    My pick for ROY honors. The Clips have a legit shot to do some damage this year and make it into the playoffs – just hope they don’t screw it up.

  • Miller’s TINY #32

    he was killing, when i say killing i mean MURDERING guys, in college. This time off just gave this ticking time bomb more fuel for one huge ass explosion! he will be ROY no doubt about it. … well long as he stays injury free, and still big props to John Wall, who will give BG a great fight for ROY

  • http://www.twitter.com/hurstysyd Hursty

    more like Kenyon Martin…

  • Z-Man

    @the Nupe you know they will. I love Big Blake (new nickname pass it on) he’s gonna put Amare to shame. 22 & 10 and he’ll be the ROY. The first time i saw him in college Lebron is the first word that came to mind, HE IS THAT GOOD. Belive the hype.

  • Z-Man

    He’s gonna set the ‘L on fire, you can bank that.

  • JTaylor21

    Like KMart? Outta your mind, BGriff would break him in half and turn him into Kit Kat.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Eboy

    Co-sign Hursty.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Eboy

    And anyone with delusions of Blake having a game like The Mailman, unless he magically found ANY kind of jumper or something remotely jumperish….this dude is going to be the king of one-dimensional criticism.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NDFBQxQdn3Y Young C

    He ain’t better than bron bron, no one is LEBRON IS GOD!!!!

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    I don’t think he will win ROY over Wall only because Wall will be given every opportunity to play extensively and he really only has Arenas to fight over stats with. Blake’s got Kaman, Baron, Gordon, Aminu, Bledsoe, etc.

  • http://www.kb24.com The Seed

    Blake Griffin only did a couple things right in college, I see him having an ok or good career, but saying he will eventually be on Lebron on Malone’s level is ludicrous. I see dude becoming a Carl Landry type player in the end, once he improves in post up game. BOOK IT!!!

  • http://sdjflf.com Jukai

    Don’t think he’ll put Amare to shame (remember, Amare had that sweet J even in High School, and Griffin’s jumper would make JKidd feel good) but this guy, in my mind, is a lock for ROY. Sorry Wall.

  • http://www.need4sheed.com Tarzan Cooper

    He has talent

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Neither Karl Malone nor Amare shot jumpers when they first came in the League.
    And he didn’t say he was as good as Malone or even played like Malone. He just said he was strong like Malone.

  • NicktheQuick


  • http://sdjflf.com Jukai

    Allenp: Patently false about Amare. Amare didn’t NEED to shoot jumpers when he came into the L because he had the athleticism to just f’ing throw down whatever Nash haphazardly threw up. That didn’t mean he didn’t have a wet jumper. It wasn’t as great as it was when he came back from injury, but from 15-feet he was pretty automatic. Read the High School article about Amare, they were gushing about his jumper even then.

  • http://sdjflf.com Jukai

    Malone I do remember reading he was getting crap about his lack of jumper when he first came in the league, but I dunno how much hyperbole that was. There’s a lot of people who think Jordan had no shot when he first came in the league, but he had a great shot out to around 18-feet, he just couldn’t hit three pointers.
    So it’s all relative.

  • http://slamonline.com Kap

    Wall has to compete with Hinrich & Arenas for minutes and stats. I know he’s the future of the franchise but if he doesn’t prove himself early on I doubt Saunders will have him on floor in cruchtime instead of Arenas and Hinrich unless developing Wall is their top priority this year instead of making the postseason. So ROY of year is not a lock for Wall.

  • onlyclipsfanonslam

    as Clips fan let me tell you he is HUNGRY. He already is the hardest worker on the team, he has been dunking on fools since June. He has been going full tilt since August in pick up games at the training facility. I won’t say he is the second coming of anyone, but I would be surprised if he doesn’t make a couple all star teams.

  • t-sizzle

    i see a whole lotta k-mart in him.. the way he dunks with aggressiveness, like he wanna destroy the life outta the everything, and the way he can muscle ppl around. even the fact he was drafted numero uno, can’t help but remind me of k-mart. however, that said, i believe he can put it together better. like mentioned above, he hungry and disciplined enough to put in the work to the be best! and not too sure about this, but his J doesn’t look That bad to me. looks decent for a PF, i assume he just doesn’t use it enough cuz he doesn’t have to…

  • http://www.slamonline.com jumpman3224

    The whole redic comparison to the Mailman aside, let’s see how he holds up. I don’t want to Oden…I mean jinx the guy, but if he misses any more significant time he is one ill sent sext message away from Greg territory.

  • JTaylor21

    I don’t understand how people could compare him to KMart and not Amare. BGriff is bigger, jumps higher, has a better J and doesn’t block shots like Rook Mart did. KMart was known more as a defender/shot-blocker and oop catcher coming out of college than anything else, while BG has a good jump-shot for a rookie and explodes regularly on defenders head like young Amare. Dude is also TWICE the hard-worker and wants to be GREAT unlike KMart.

  • t-sizzle

    cosign Jtay, you’re right on this one. i was thinking only of powering to the rim though

  • Pindajung

    Good? Yes, very. Great? Nah, some games. ROY? In
    the discussion most certainly.

    His strenght and athlatisism made him look like a monster in college but the L has some of the best athletes in the world, so iim not sure he can dominate like that anymore. Hes a bit limmited offensively but what he can do, he does great. Interesting to watch though he is playing for the clippers… Nough said

  • BC

    this kid hasnt even played a single nba game you cant compare them to either one of those players

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Jukai, Amare’s jumper his rookie year was atrocious. As a suns fan i thought you would know all about how hard he worked on that thing after his rookie year. and then double time rehabbing from microfracture surgery. His jumper has improved by leaps and bounds. Malone was iffy his first few years. Griffen has the best shot as a rookie of the 3. Just look at FT % (griffen in college obviously) to get a grasp of the difference

  • http://www.kb24.com The Seed

    Like I said before he is Carl Landry, with less rebounding skill. BOOK IT!!

  • TiagoSplitter

    Forget blake griffin, I’m gonna be rookie of the year!

  • JTaylor21

    Come on now The Seed, he’s a worse rebounder than Carl Freaking Landry WHAAAAT? that has to be in the Slam commenting Hall of Shame. Osborne and BCrawford will come by your house to collect a piece of your dignity to hang up.

  • http://sdjflf.com Jukai

    NBK: If I remember, his shot was awful in the beginning and got steadily better, which was chocked up as more of a mental thing. I twas a dangerous weapon he used in High School that got better WELL before his micro fracture surgery.
    My point was, he had it in his arsenal well before it became automatic. It was better during his rookie year (when he came out of high school) as Griffin’s (when he came out as a Sophmore in college).
    Of course, I haven’t seen Griffin play in a while, he may have improved it.

  • The Philosopher

    Karl Malone couldn’t shoot.
    He was an inconsistent shooter even as he aged.
    The reason he did not win a championship is because of his ineptness at the free throw line.
    Especially in crucial moments of crucial games.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Oh alright my bad i misunderstood. I thought you were saying his jumper was relative to how it is now (form, and accuracy) but yeah he definately had it and wasn’t afraid of it in HS. It was ugly as all get out lol but he did have it. I like Griffen’s base (shooting basics) better then Amar’e circa HS beginning of rookie year. But now its undeniable how great of a midrange J amare has.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Karl Malone got MVP awards relying heavily on his jumpshot philosopher. averaged around 30ppg using pick and pop as his co-main weapon (pick and roll) in the mid 90′s.

  • The Philosopher

    Understood, but in the clutch, he was suspect.
    When he won the M.V.P.s, most everyone who mattered was old and retired with the exception of Shaq and Duncan.

  • JTaylor21

    Malone had a good mid-range but Amare is already a way better shooter and BGriff’s a better shooter than rook Amare was, add that with the fact that he’s a BETTER leaper, defender, and twice the rebounder than ’10 Amare, the Heavens is truly the limit for him.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    I hear you about the clutch thing. He did win the MVP over Jordan during a title year (97). And in (99) over shaq, duncan, iverson, garnett, kobe, and kidd.

  • http://dsfjklf.com Jukai

    The Philosopher: one can have a deadly midrange and miss it everytime in the clutch.
    See: Elvin Hayes, Kevin Garnett, Wilt Chamberlain.
    Karl Malone was king. His midrange J was MONEY for three and a half quarters. His missing in the second half of the fourth quarter was not because he did not have a good jump shot. It’s cause mentally he sucked until that last NBA Finals.
    JTaylor: BGrif is not a better shooter than rook Amare was. Patently false. Again. BGriffin is three years older than rookie Amare was and his jump shot is not better, UNLESS He has drastically improved it since college.
    He’s already a superior defender and rebounder though.
    Better leaper? Than pre-surgery Amare? Uhhh…

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    I would not bet against griffen’s jumper improving by leaps and bounds. that is the only thing he was able to do for about 7 months.

  • JTaylor21

    @Jukai, I saw most of his sophomore games in college and trust when I say that dude has a better shot than rook Amare. He’s also a more explosive leaper than Amare ever was, just go look at some of his youtube highlights and you’ll see dude hitting his head against the back-board with consistency. Like his teammates stated in the article, dude jumps and runs like Bron and we both know that Bron’s a better athlete than Amare therefore making BGriff a better leaper.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Saying anyone does anything athletically like LeBron is an overexaggeration. Meaning you can’t put literal stock in the statement.

  • The Philosopher

    If one is missing mid range jumpers and free throws when they matter on a consistent basis, then they do not possess a deadly mid range game.
    Deadly mid range game:
    1. Michael Jordan
    2. Kobe Bryant
    3. Reggie Miller
    4. Richard Hamilton
    5. Larry Bird
    No particular order, obviously.
    My point being, those guys were almost always clutch/deadly when shooting the ball from the mid range area and the free throw line in important games.
    Karl Malone was not.

  • http://www.slamonline.com J

    “like” doesn’t necessarily means equal. So if Griffin jumps like Lebron don’t mean he literally jumps as high as lebron. Craig Smith is comparing. Also pre injury Amare is a better leaper than Griffin. And remember were talking about the leap of Griffin now (post injury). Blake is my bet on ROY anyway I’m very high on that guy.

  • http://www.slamonline.com J

    Having a wet jumper and being clutch, can go independently. Malone has a deadly mid-J, but he’s no clutch.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Philosopher that my friend is known as a red herring. Your comparing Karl Malone to the best (jumpshot) players of all time. Compare Karl Malones midrange game to other comparable players, Charles Barkley, Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett, Shawn Kemp, Kevin McHale, etc. If you haven’t noticed, ol’ Karl has the best jumpshot of the group.

  • http://www.slamonline.com J

    And ofcourse it can go together as well (see: Philosopher’s list) just to complete my first statement.

  • The Philosopher

    Arguable, I suppose, with the exception of Bird.
    You may be right in that respect.
    Barkley was a better shooter, especially off the dribble, and from longer range.
    I don’t know, to me, ANY great shooter was consistently clutch. The did not normally miss when the lights came on.
    But… interesting points by you.

  • The Philosopher


  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    I would take Barkley off outside 18ft. Inside that, no I am sorry Malone all day. I’m a phoenix resident who grew up with Barkley and KJ as my favorite players so I don’t much enjoy saying this, but Malone on offense was a straight up murderer 18ft and in. Post up, fadeaway, face-up size up no dribble shot (don’t know what to call it, only him, jordan, olajuwan, prolly bird mastered this shot outside 15ft from what i know) (check the finals game 5 1998 for an example), pick & roll/pop, he mastered all aspects. And saying he “wasn’t clutch” is tough for me to accept to. He did have top 3 defenisive PF of all time guarding him everytime he got to the finals, (Rodman, Duncan, Garnett – No particular order) and he really only faultered late in that one game, and that game just happens to be the most famous NBA game of the last 20 years if not ever.

  • doyouwantmore

    HAHA Karl Malone. Lakers suck.

  • The Philosopher

    If he was consistently clutch from the free throw line and other areas of shooting, he may have a ring.
    Again, great arguments.
    Also, I was just stating that Barkley was better from deep, and off the dribble when it comes to shooting. Mid range is a no contest in Malone’s favor, no doubt.
    Barkley was just more clutch, though.

  • http://sdjfklf.com Jukai

    The Philosopher: It’s simply a matter of opinion.
    I think clutch and midrange are completely separate.
    You think that a lack of shots in the clutch is an issue with shot mechanics.
    That’s fine.
    I’m not ‘wrong’ though. I just have different criteria, as do you. It’s fine.
    Your 8:39 pm was pointless.

  • Michael

    cosign Jtaylor..dude is good.

  • MrGoodfellow58

    Malone couldn’t shoot at first. Tha’s why most of his shots came from the same couple of spots. Pure shooters shoot from anywhere. And if you don’t remember how Griffen Beasted his college peers, then you shouldn’t even speak on him. Griffen is JUST AS(if not more) athletic than Amare. With B Diddy running the show you could see the new Hank Gather’s or Len Bias.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    @The philosopher 9:57 cosign that entire comment.

  • The Philosopher

    Agreed on some points, but…
    that last thesis was pointless.

  • MrGoodfellow58

    HANK GATHERS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    LEN BIAS!!!!!!!!!!
    HANK GATHERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    LEN BIAS!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Griffen is a beast. Shut the hell up with the mid-range convo’s.Dude’s TIM DUNCAN on steriods after somebody ran over his dog. And he throws block parties like a millionaire on house arrest. That’s everyday for you lames. No Jumpers!!!!!!!!! The league is softer than wet tissue. He’s gonna live at the foul line and throw shots back like Lindsay Lohan at happy hour.

  • http://www.twitter.com/jtrain73 Jono

    am i the only one who thinks he’ll miss at least 15 games this year?

  • TheTruth

    Tim duncan on steriods? You just lost all credability for your comment. Blake well NEVER be Tim Duncan! Blake can only hope he’s half as good as Duncan. Get out of here.

  • corey

    u have to be serious dumb if u think any power f in the nba is better than griff