Skip to main content

Zach Randolph shares what it was like going against Blake Griffin and the Clippers: 'We used to battle'

griffin vs randolph

In 2012, and 2013 the 'Grit N Grind' Memphis Grizzlies and L.A. Clippers, famously known as Lob City, gave fans some of the most exciting first-round playoff series. The Grizzlies were led by Zach Randolph, Marc Gasol, Mike Conley Jr, and Tony Allen, while the Clippers had Blake Griffin, Chris Paul, DeAndre Jordan, and Jamal Crawford, to name a few. Both playoff series went to 7 games, and it was also a clash of two up-and-coming teams in the western conference that played utterly different brands of basketball.

The Grizzlies played a defense-oriented basketball in which a lot of their offense was coming inside the paint. On the other hand, the Clippers relied heavily on Chris Paul and playing above the rim with prime Griffin and Jordan surrounded by a few great shooters in Jamal Crawford, Caron Butler, and Chauncey Billups. The Clippers beat the Grizzlies in the first round of the 2012 playoffs in seven games. However, the following year, surprisingly enough, both teams matched up again in the first round going to seven games, and the Grizzlies finally getting their revenge.

In a recent interview with BasketballNews, Grizzlies legend and leader of that squad, Zach Randolph, talked about the rivalry and what made those games special. He referred to it as a bunch of battles that he will appreciate forever, especially those with Blake Griffin in the paint.

We used to battle; we knew it was a battle. Coming in playing the Clippers, every game is going to be about Blake. He was super strong, athletic, C.P., and that was a tough team. We had fun, and we knew we need to come and battle. It was sweet when we beat them and vice versa; probably it felt the same way for them. It was just a bunch of battles, and there are no friends on the court. My only friends are my teammates, so that is how I approached the game. So we were scratching and scratching and doing everything we had to do in grit and grind.

Zach Randolph, via BasketballNews

Scroll to Continue

Recommended Articles

Randolph also explained what happened in game 6 of the 2013 playoffs. He and Blake got into a scuffle in which Randolph was accused of choking Griffin. These two had some serious battles in the post, and with both of them playing extremely physically, these things tend to happen when you're competing hard, especially in the playoffs. Randolph still has fond memories of those series and appreciates his rivalry against Griffin.

Blake is so strong that he is going to clip you and trying to do all the dirty things the referees don't see, and he had me locked. I thought he would break my arm, so what I did I just put my weight on him, I just fell on him because he had my arm locked. When I fall on him, it just looked like my left hand got by with a stroke. But Blake is my man. We had a lot of battles, and those were some fun times of my career. Those battles with the Clippers.

Zach Randolph, via BasketballNews

Those matchups between the Grizzlies and Clippers were truly one of the most underrated playoff series in recent times, especially when you consider both were in the first round. Neither team had any success in making it to the NBA finals during those years, but they were constantly very close. It was a clash of two completely different teams with different philosophies going all out every single game, with the amount of physicality you will rarely see in the league today.

LeBron James & John Salley

John Salley praises LeBron James for calling out the media’s coverage of the Jerry Jones picture - “Everybody wanting to call LeBron a sellout; no, you can’t”

Salley believes that James can no longer be labeled a sellout after he stepped up and voiced his concerns on an issue that not many people are paying attention to

Kristaps Porzingis & Luka Doncic

Kristaps Porzingis opens up about his failed partnership with Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks - “I just wasn’t the right guy”

When asked about his failed stint with the Mavs, Porzingis admitted that he and Luka Doncic were not a strong fit on the court together

New York Knicks center Patrick Ewing

"I'm here and I plan to finish my career here" — when Patrick Ewing left the New York Knicks for the Seattle Supersonics

Patrick Ewing hinted at how things played out with him and the Knicks that prompted him to leave the team in 2000.

michael-jordan-luc-longley-min (1)

Luc Longley on Michael Jordan’s only condition to end the Chicago Bulls’ practice sessions

Luc Longley gave us a peek into Michael Jordan's obsession with competition and winning.

Los Angeles Lakers guard Isaiah Thomas

“You're not given a real chance” — Isaiah Thomas breaks down 10-day contracts in the NBA

Former Boston Celtics All-Star Isaiah Thomas opens up about the reality of 10-day contracts in the NBA.

Charlotte Hornets guard Tony Parker

Almost lifers — stars who played their entire career for a single NBA franchise until their last season

As it turns out, all five guys probably would've been better off just retiring as icons of their original teams.

Miami Heat guard Dwayne Wade

“Being able to stay out to 5AM and still score 40” — Dwyane Wade on his favorite memory from the 2006 Miami Heat

Dwyane Wade still couldn't help but be elated whenever he looked back at his 2006 run with the Miami Heat.

Sacramento Kings guards Mike Bibby and Jason Williams

“They were both awesome in their way for our team” — Ex-Sacramento Kings center Scot Pollard compares Mike Bibby and Jason Williams

Former Sacramento Kings center Scot Pollard was asked to appoint the better point guard between Jason Williams and Mike Bibby.