Egged on by his pudgy peer, Blake Griffin gives new meaning to the term "facial features."
November 20, 2010, 6:30 PM EST
Los Angeles, California
Staples Center, Clippers locker room
“I can’t play tonight, boss. My knee is still badly swollen.”
“That’s not all that’s badly swollen. Look at yourself, Baron!” The silver-haired man looks down in disgust at the rotund point guard, now woofing down the last morsels of his 4x4 cheeseburger. “What kind of role model are you to the young men on this team? This is not what we’re paying you to do!”
“No, you look, Donnie, my job is to heal up and get these boys winning again. Yyyyour jobs…” Baron Davis pauses to grab a pinch of his Animal Fries. “…are to keep the eyes of your nightly harem away from our 'beautiful black bodies' while we're dropping soap in the shower and, oh, to sign my paychecks. Novel concept, huh? I hear Dunleavy Sr.’s in shape, have you signed his checks yet?” As his team’s miffed owner waves him off and saunters out of the locker room in disgust, Davis offers one last parting shot. “Don’t you have some sweatshops to attend to or something? Friggin’ owners. Hey, yo, Griff, come here!”
The Clippers’ 6’10” manchild, Blake Griffin, saddles up beside his self-appointed mentor. Davis backhand slaps him in the bicep, leaving Griffin to wipe off some In-N-Out spread himself.
“I keep telling you, son, you’re supposed to be covering for me when I’m back here eating dinner. That’s you and Aminu’s main job, aside from the Krispy Kreme runs. You like old bigoted dudes running up on you and glaring while you chow down?”
“I’m not a rookie anymore,” Griffin retorts, only to hear his protest mimicked in a chiding manner by Davis.
“Please, that’s bunk. They’re not making up a Sophomore of the Year award for you just because you were out last year! Besides, you know who’s coming after your Rookie of the Year award tonight, don’t you?”
“Umm... Landry Fields?”
“Nah,” Baron sucks through the last sip of his Neapolitan shake. “Good guess, though. That Moscow dude… Timothy or something like that. I dunno what the phrase for ‘hot sh*t’ is in Russia, but he think he that, because he was killin’ fools over there in Eurobasket. Your dude Amar’e tells me that they getting ready to put him on. Major minutes, since they know Eddy Curry ain’t gonna play, he’s so out of... never mind. Look,” Baron pokes Blake’s arm again, causing Blake to instinctively check for spread. “You need to get out there and show Moscow Man how we do!”
“I heard you posterized a Russian or two back in your day,” Griffin says, smirking.
“Back in my DAY? To hell with you!” Davis smirks. “But thank you for bringing that up, because it brings me to my next point. I keep telling you, you need to keep getting more like me… Why you looking at me like that? I’m serious! We got parallel paths, Griff. High School All-American dunk contest champs, tore up our knees in our freshman years... we kindred spirits, right?”
“Now, I need you to go out there and be Baron Davis tonight. The Donald wants Baron Davis out there tonight, and dammit, he’s gonna get Baron Davis -- through you. Be reckless, fearless! Hot dog it a little, drop some fancy dimes tonight, don’t worry about turnovers. And if you got an open shot, take it. B-Diddy Ball!” Davis pauses to finally employ a napkin. “Oh, and my big ‘come-up’ dunk in the NBA was actually on K.G.... ‘back in MY day.’ It’s time you go get yours.”
“You’re not talking about Amar’e, right? I was invited to his skills academy camp in college. I ain’t posterizing him.”
“Amar’e? He’s smart enough to know when to get outta the way, so you’ll be left with dudes like Gallnari at the rim. Or better yet, that Russian kid. Speaking of Russians, though, that brings up my last point. You know I’m lookin’ out for ya, right... what’s goin’ on with this?” Baron gestures his fingers in a circular motion around his face.
Griffin sighs, and facepalms. “We talking about my skin again?”
“Of course, man. You ever see a 40-year-old cat with freckles? It’s sad, man, sad. Not a good look. Seriously, you don’t wanna be that guy.”
“Okay, I know, and we talked about this. I got the lemon rinds and the sour cream thing going… anyway, where are you going with this? What’s all that got to do with Russians?”
“I was at a beach party a few weeks before The Emmy Awards, and my homeboy’s girl Jessica Alba tipped me off about this skin cream they use over in Russia. I hear it’s all the rage on Rodeo Drive. She says it makes freckles disappear.”
Griffin's eyes widen. “For real?”
“For real, for real! They got all kinds of good product over there, man, and it’s all placenta-based… No, stop making that face, it ain’t gross at all! Smoothes all that skin out. J-Lo swears by it. And they got products for men, too. They got this conditioner that totally relaxes your hair. You know how AK-47 went from looking like Sonic the Hedgehog to one of those Partridge Family girls?”
“Uh, yeah, I guess... Wow.” Characteristic of most of his conversations with his mentor, Griffin's face reflects a mix of bewilderment and skepticism.
“Listen, the stuff works, man. It would take care of all that red Brillo-pad stuff you got up there. You know what? I bet you twelve dozen Krispy Kremes that the Moscow kid is using it right now.”
“Well, I'm not gonna just run up and ask him, so…”
“You don’t have to. Just while you’re out there, when he tries to foul you, rub his head and find out. Bet you can tell. If I’m wrong, I’ll put another 20 smacks into that child obesity thing you got going.”
“Alright, deal, bruh.” Griffin heads back to his locker.
“And one last thing, Griff. I got four words for you. Chocolate. Iced. With. Sprinkles.”