A smile crossed
Griffin's eyes grew wider, too, when the All-Star power forward was asked if there were any lingering issues between him and Warriors center Jermaine O'Neal.
The last time the teams played each other, March 12 at
"I don't have Jermaine's number," Griffin said. "So I don't really talk to him. So I don't know if there's a lingering issue or not."
O'Neal will be the Warriors' starting center in this series because
With Game 1 of the best-of-seven series set for Saturday at Staples Center, many around the
Hall of Famer Reggie Miller, an NBA analyst for
"I don't know about hate," Griffin said. "This is basketball. I don't know if hate is a great word. We have to go against each other. The dislike may be there for some guys, for some people on both teams. I don't know if I would use hate. I don't know if I'll ever say I hate a basketball player just because I play against him. That's not really a word I throw around a lot."
The Clippers and Warriors split the season series, 2-2, and each game was intense.
In those four games there were nine technical fouls issued to players, two ejections (Griffin and Golden State's
"Any time you hate a team, you can throw out who's hurt and who's not playing because it becomes personal," Miller said. "We're going to see a lot of hard fouls in this series.
The dislike between the Clippers and Warriors actually began last season, but things became more acrimonious on
There are chapels in NBA arenas for players who want to gather before games. But that night the Clippers and Warriors couldn't even hold chapel service together.
The Warriors were angry, saying the Clippers violated the custom by not wanting to hold the service at the same time.
Then during the Oct. 31 game, Griffin bumped into Warriors Coach
In their second meeting of the season, on Christmas night in Oakland, Green was assessed a flagrant foul and was ejected for elbowing Griffin. Later, Griffin picked up his second technical foul and also was ejected, following a tussle with Bogut.
"To me, it's cowardly," Griffin said after that game, referring to the Warriors' tactics. "That's cowardly basketball."
But on Friday, Clippers Coach
In the end, Rivers used a boxing metaphor for what the Clippers and Warriors should do before Game 1.
"We should shake their hands," Rivers said. "You touch gloves and then you go out and you fight."