There’s a lot of BS out there today about how San Antonio Spurs big man Aron Baynes got “posterized” by LA Clippers leapfreak Blake Griffin three times in Game 1 of the lively Spurs-Clippers series. Zito Madu at SBNation writes that Baynes should have “learned his lesson” and not tried to block Griffin’s dunks. Why? Because of the embarrassment of being “posterized.” That’s what our culture has come to: otherwise sensible people shaming a player who is doing everything he can to win, with no self-involved worry about how his potential failure might look. That’s what Baynes did. That’s why the Spurs culture is different than the culture on a lot of other teams, too.
Baynes had better try to block that dunk–he doesn’t need to save his fouls like Tim Duncan might. (And Baynes didn’t foul, either, btw.) Madu says Griffin dunked on him because “Aron Baynes didn’t listen to his brain and tried to be a hero.” Damn right. He’s out there to try. And if that gets you on a poster, the only thing that poster proves is that you were there fighting. You win some, you lose some. (What’s next–you’re gonna tell kids not to give chase if a player’s got a lead?) You don’t let Griffin go in uncontested. You try. And try, try again. That’s what Baynes did. Maybe next time he’ll get him. But only if he tries.