Utah Jazz: These aren't your father's Los Angeles Clippers the Jazz are hosting

Published: Thursday, March 13 2014 5:55 p.m. MDT

Malone was asked during All-Star weekend if he saw similarities between his game and the current power dunker, who, by the way, recently did a Mailman-esque dunk as a tribute.

“I never jumped like that. I jumped when I had to. The physical play, I like that,” Malone said. “I just like his demeanor. I would like to see him get mad one time. Me, it didn’t take too much to get me riled up. Blake is one of those guys, he just plays the game no matter what. He can play for a long time.”

Malone is impressed with the evolution of Griffin’s game, too. He’s added some finesse to his power repertoire. The former Jazz star wants to see the Clippers superstar face the basket more often, though, like he did, especially later in his career.

“When you turn and face your opponent they’re scared to death,” Malone said. “I would never pay to see anybody play, but I will go see him.”

My how things change, right? The Clippers a legitimate challenger?

An NBA legend wanting to watch a non-Laker L.A. player do his thing?

These certainly aren’t your cellar-dweller Clippers any more.

“You can’t get caught up in people’s history. That’s more media-driven. That’s fan-based,” Jazz forward Richard Jefferson said, explaining that he faced a similar stigma when he helped New Jersey go from being the worst to an NBA Finals squad.

“Players don’t pay attention to that. When they drafted me in Jersey, they were like, ‘Well the Nets haven’t done this.’ I was like, ‘Well, I wasn’t on the Nets so I can’t speak on that history.”

The way the Clippers are playing now, they appear like they’re on the verge of creating a new winning chapter for the history books. Not like L.A. has to do much to improve on its past, considering the Clips have only been to the playoffs six times in the past three decades and out of the first round just twice since 2006.

“I think Blake Griffin, DeAndre Jordan, the guys that they brought in, even Chris Paul, he didn’t give a (darn) what the Clippers' history was,” Jefferson said. “He didn’t care if it was the Lakers’ town. Players don’t really care about that stuff. They care about defining their own path, and I think that’s what people need to focus on.”

EMAIL: jody@desnews.com


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