Apparently in New Orleans, the Hornets have grabbed the bounty program baton from the football Saints. On Thursday, Hornets forward JASON SMITH targeted Clippers high-flyer BLAKE GRIFFIN for a hard body check during a fourth quarter fastbreak…

Smith showed no remorse in leveling Griffin, who’s been known to show no remorse on opponents’ goal with his aerial escapades. In fact, Smith gets the crowd amped as he leaves the floor after being ejected for a flagrant 2 foul.

Yet Smith felt apologetic later in the lockerroom.

“I apologize to Blake Griffin. That’s something you never want to do to another player, especially a caliber player like Blake,” Smith said. “He’s a phenomenal player. I just didn’t want to give an easy lay-up. There’s a ton of better ways to go about that. I apologize to him. That’s just not what I’m all about. I never want to hurt a player or anything like that. I just want to make sure he didn’t get an easy layup.”

The game was obviously a grudge match as the Hornets ruined Chris Paul’s return to the Big Easy with a 97-90 win. Chris Kaman, who was traded by the Clippers, got his revenge with 20 points and 10 rebounds versus his old team.

As for Blake Griffin, he might as well face the fact that sometimes that “S” on his chest may turn out to be an “X” for opponents.

Just sayin’.

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