February 17, 2011
People use a lot of metaphors to describe incredible leapers: a guy can make change on the top of the backboard, kiss the rim, write his name on the backboard, or measure the dimensions on the square on the glass. OK, I made some of those up, but these sorts of sayings exist nonetheless. And while some seem goofy, they're usually grounded in real events, or at least legends based on things that exist in the world. Maybe Earl "The Goat" Manigault couldn't actually change dimes into nickels, but it's not as if people are suggesting he flew to the moon and threw a basketball at a passing flying saucer.
Wednesday night, Blake Griffin(notes) actually accomplished one of these cliches by hitting his head on the side of the backboard. Yes, you read that right, and it didn't occur as some kind of technicality like a graze or light tap. While going up for an alley-oop in the final minutes of the Clippers' 98-90 win over the Wolves, Griffin knocked into Minnesota forward Anthony Tolliver(notes) and cracked his head on the side of the backboard. The play didn't work as intended. But it's still one of the most incredible moments of what's already been an incredible rookie campaign for the All-Star.
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