- Ramona Shelburne, ESPN Senior Writer
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PLAYA VISTA, Calif. -- Yes, Blake Griffin heard that Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson called him "a bull in a china shop," adding to the familiar narrative that the All-Star forward plays a bit "out of control" for some people's tastes.
No, Griffin will not punch back after the first volley in what promises to be a contentious first-round series between the Pacific Division rivals.
"Yeah, I heard about it," Griffin said Thursday before the Clippers' practice.
"This isn't my thing. I play basketball. I don't want to get into back and forth. I think we're ready to play, and it sounds like they are, too."
The normally buttoned-up Thompson made his comments in a radio interview Wednesday, setting an aggressive tone for the Warriors in this series.
"He is a good guy off the court but he probably just ... I mean ... plays pretty physical and flops a little bit," Thompson told "The Wheelhouse" on 95.7 The Game radio in San Francisco.
"He flairs his arm around so, you know, you might catch a random elbow or something that doesn't, you know, rub off too well on guys. He's kind of like a bull in a china shop, kind of out of control sometimes. And then you do just see him flop sometimes, like how can a guy that big and strong flop that much.
"I can see how that gets under people's skin and be frustrating to play against."
Griffin sat out the Clippers' regular-season finale Wednesday against Portland after being suspended by the NBA for picking up his 16th technical foul Tuesday.
This kind of talk is nothing new for Griffin. His aggressive, physical style and highlight-reel dunks often elicit negative reactions from opponents.
At coach Doc Rivers' suggestion, he has tried a new, more adult approach to dealing with the scorn and negativity.
"Just go out and play basketball," Griffin said. "It doesn't matter what anybody does or anybody says. Go out and play basketball."
He also has cut out almost all social media, rarely posting or checking his mentions on Twitter and almost completely ending his previous habit of studying his play in YouTube videos.
"It's helped," Griffin said of the decision to cut back on all forms of media consumption. "You get rid of negativity, you kind of play a little bit freer, you live a little bit more free. Not as much clutter. That's not really what I need. People are going to hate on people no matter what, and I think the biggest example of that is somebody like LeBron [James] or somebody like [Kevin Durant]. Those guys go out and dominate on a nightly basis, and you can still hear people say things about both of them. Maybe not as much as ... others, but it's going to happen. So there's nothing I can do to control that, so I just leave it alone."
For his part, Rivers said he doesn't think anything that's said or done to rile up Griffin will affect the series.
"I go by the numbers. No one's been very successful this year at it," Rivers said. "Blake's is going to be second or third in MVP voting so whatever teams have tried has not worked. And that's on Blake. So whatever it is, Blake is still playing basketball. And at the end of the day, when you're good, you should look at it as a compliment. 'Guys are trying anything to stop me.'
"They tried it with Shaq, they tried it with LeBron and they're trying it with Blake. And all of those two guys decided, 'Well, I'm just going to keep playing basketball. And I'm going to let everybody else clean the other stuff up.'
"So I think Blake's done a really great job there."