Griffin and Utah Jazz forward Trevor Booker had to be separated in the third quarter of the Clippers' 101-97 preseason win Friday when Booker fouled Griffin hard in midair. After they exchanged words, Griffin grabbed the back of Booker's head before both players were pulled back by their teammates.
"I was going to, but then I thought, 'It's preseason,' " Griffin said when asked about retaliating. "It's not worth it. That's not the person I want to waste it on."
When Griffin was asked if he feels close to retaliating if the hard fouls continue, he said, "Yeah, probably. I'm not going to do it for no reason or if it's not warranted and I didn't feel that was."
Clippers coach Doc Rivers said he doesn't want to see Griffin retaliate, but admitted the continued cheap shots are taking their toll on him.
"You don't ever want him to do anything but he gets hit with more cheap shots than anybody in the league," Rivers said. "I don't even think it's close."
Clippers guard Chris Paul said he could sense Griffin getting close to a boiling point after the Booker foul and continued asking him if he was good and made sure he was fine to continue playing.
"He's getting real close to it," Paul said of Griffin retaliating. "I'm glad [he didn't] because we need him. A lot of times in those situations, we need him a lot more than the other team needs the person that usually [aggravates him]. It's tough. Blake is unbelievable to show that patience. I think that's one of the most selfless things that he does all season long because even though he wants to react personally, he sacrifices for the team."
Griffin has been showing restraint after hard fouls his entire career but laughs at the fact that he's criticized for that and complaining about fouls at the same time.
"On one hand, everybody tells me to do something; on the other hand, people tell me to not complain and to play ball," Griffin said. "You're not going to please everybody but I just got to do whatever I think is right and use my judgment."
Griffin has often heard others say he won't retaliate no matter what others do to him. He said he's fine with that, but won't be fine with getting cheap shots for much longer.
"That doesn't bother me," Griffin said. "It's more about standing up for yourself. There's times when hard fouls are a part of the game and there's times where they are a little bit further than that."