Around NBA circles, there's always been a tacit admission that Los Angeles Clippers star Chris Paul toes the line between tough and dirty on the court. He exaggerates calls, bumps bodies, whines at officials and generally does anything, no matter how immoral, to help his team win. But because Paul is such a great spokesman off the court, everyone seems to like Paul enough to not boo him.
That has changed in this 2012 NBA playoffs first-round series against the Memphis Grizzlies. During the first four games, three of which were Clippers wins, Paul and his teammates flopped a few too many times for some Grizzlies fans to handle. It has only gotten worse in their eyes in Game 5.
With the Grizzlies pulling away, Paul was called for a technical foul for arguing with an official. The Grizzlies' crowd felt this was the perfect time to let out all that frustration.
There's clearly a unique dynamic that comes from playing in a hotly contested playoff series. Consider: Hornets fans, who arguably have a right to heckle Paul for requesting a trade from their franchise, have not even come close to doing what Grizzlies fans just did there. And yet, 4 1/2 games is enough for those Grizzlies fans to let out their anger.
You've got to love the playoffs.
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