Blake Griffin says he's not soft

Blake Griffin said in an interview with ESPN that he's not worried if he is being labeled as soft around the NBA and is willing to prove that he's not to his detractors in the league -- off the court.

"I've never really worried about being called soft or people thinking I'm soft," the Los Angeles Clippers' star power forward said. "If anybody wants to step and take that challenge I'm more than happy -- off the court -- because I don't want to get suspended. It's not something that I dwell on. I've never really had a problem with being soft."

Last month, teammate Chauncey Billups said on ESPN's "First Take" that Griffin might be "too nice" and NBA opponents often take advantage of that aspect of his personality.

Griffin, meanwhile, told ESPN that he didn't badger Chris Paul about re-signing with the team because he believed the Clippers showed the point guard during last season that he was on a team capable of winning. Paul ended up accepting a five-year, $107 million contract extension to remain with the team.

"I think we've done our job to show him I think we can win here," Griffin said.

He also said he's excited about the upcoming season with the addition of new coach Doc Rivers.

"With Doc coming in and bringing his staff and kind of mixing some of the staff we have left over, everybody is really excited, feels the energy, feels the enthusiasm," Griffin said.