Blake Griffin says Stephen Curry reminds him of a past high school opponent

Golden State's Stephen Curry reacts near Clippers' Blake Griffin after blocking a shot in Game 4 of the NBA Western Conference playoffs on April 27, 2014.

Golden State’s Stephen Curry reacts near Clippers’ Blake Griffin after blocking a shot in Game 4 of the NBA Western Conference playoffs on April 27, 2014.

(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)

Blake Griffin said Wednesday that Stephen Curry, who is in a league of his own in the NBA, reminds him of a player he used to go against in high school in Oklahoma.

“With no disrespect to Steph, there was this kid in Oklahoma named Rotnei Clarke,” Griffin said. “In high school, he’d average like 47. It was like the same type of thing obviously on a much different scale, like he didn’t have [Chris Paul] and guys guarding him. But it was crazy. He would shoot like left-handed, like it was insane. Not comparing by any means.”

Curry is considered by some to be the greatest player in the game of basketball right now after leading his team to a championship in June and a 12-0 start this season. It seems as though Curry can shoot effectively from anywhere beyond the half-court line, and he leads the league in scoring with 33.7 points a game.

Griffin said that Clarke, though very skilled in high school, had a very different future than the league’s reigning MVP.


“He went to Arkansas and then transferred somewhere,” Griffin said. “I think he transferred somewhere and just kind of fizzled out. Keiton Page was a kid that was at Oklahoma State, he was the same way in high school. Again, he’s playing in Oklahoma 2A high school, but like he would cross half court and you’d have to guard him. It was crazy. Obviously, [Curry] is doing this on an NBA level against every team night in and night out.”

Clarke spent three seasons with Arkansas before transferring to Butler. He currently is a member of Telekom Baskets Bonn of Basketball Bundesliga in Germany. As for Page, after his college career he apparently transitioned to coaching children.

Paul Pierce said that what makes Curry unique -- and so unstoppable -- is his ability to create his own shot, especially from beyond the three-point line, where he averages 11.3 attempts a game and converts 45.6% of them.

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“You look at the top three-point shooters in NBA history, a lot of them are guys that came off a lot of screens, a lot of guys that just spot up and get open,” Pierce said. “But he seems to get it off anytime he wants.”

When the Clippers played the Warriors in Oakland on Nov. 4, the game came down to the final minute, with the Warriors winning, 112-108. Pierce said that when the teams play Thursday at Staples Center, it will be a completely different challenge because of the Warriors’ lengthy winning streak.

“They’re 12-0, now, you just feel like nobody can play with you guys,” Pierce said of the Warriors. “You feel like nobody can beat you, you feel like any team that takes a lead on you, you can always come back. You have the ultimate confidence. You’re the champion. It’s just like probably any fighter, when he gets hit and goes down, he probably still feels like, ‘I’m still going to win this fight.’ That’s just their feeling and they’ve earned it.”



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