Leave it to Stephen A. Smith to get a phenomenal soundbyte out of someone.
The ESPN First Take host elaborated on Skip Bayless’ question to Chauncey Billups about Blake Griffin being soft. As a result, the veteran NBA player was forced to say some stuff that will definitely be taken out of context by some people.
Here’s Chauncey’s answer:
"I don't agree that Blake Griffin is soft. But what I will say about Blake is that he's maybe too nice of a guy, because there's been times in games where people take shots at Blake. And I tell him if that's me, you're going to have to take this two- or three-game suspension, and I'm going to punish somebody.
That's just how I'm built. Blake is not really built like that. He's ... too soft of a guy inside for him to be like, 'All right, I'm just going to hurt somebody.' He just won't do it. I wish he would, and I think that people would look at him a lot different if he did that. But he's just not that kind of person."
He elaborated further saying that he was thinking about the answer not from a teammate perspective but as a former opponent, and he reiterated that he never thought Blake was a soft player.
A soft person, but not a soft player, that’s a distinction he made several times.
It’s a great way to say it, because Blake doesn’t play soft, but he keeps his cool more than most people, including fans. He doesn’t get furious about things, which can be seen as soft.
It's a debate that has been going on for awhile, and there's reasons on both sides of the argument, but it's hard to fight the way Chauncey said it. Soft players aren't going for the dunks Blake is, and they don't drive to the basket like he does.
But his personality is a different story.