The next day he broke his right hand in a fight outside a restaurant with Matias Testi, a friend who was the club’s assistant equipment manager. “I never want to make excuses about that because it was my fault 100%,” Griffin says. “I think about it all the time, and I still feel really, really bad, for a lot of reasons. I let so many people down. But I’m not going to lie. I wasn’t in the best place mentally. It took a very unique certain set of circumstances for that to happen, and part of it was not being able to play. That set wheels in motion.”
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Blake Griffin is apologizing to Los Angeles Clippers fans for punching the team’s assistant equipment manager last season, an incident he says was “100 percent my fault.” He was suspended four games and docked nearly $860,000 in pay for the altercation in January at a Toronto restaurant. Griffin broke his right hand and Matias Testi’s face was severely swollen. Testi no longer works for team, having left in late July with no reason given by the Clippers, who open training camp Tuesday in Irvine.
Griffin said a few days after the altercation he received a call from his older brother Taylor, who said, “Man, what are you doing? This is not you. What are you doing this for?” “I was crushed,” Griffin said. “To hear that from him, somebody I’ve looked up to my whole life, who always tells me what I need to hear, that’s when I had a pretty big realization about who I am, and who I want to be. I don’t want to say what that realization was. I just want to go out and show you.”
Dan Woike: Clippers assistant equipment manager Matias Testi no longer works with the team, a source has confirmed to the OCR. @TMZ_Sports was 1st.
How did you learn about it? Did your phone ring at 4 a.m.? Oh, yeah. When the phone rings at 4 a.m., it’s never good. Who calls? Blake? Matias? The trainer. When you get those calls, and you look at the phone and see [Clippers trainer] Jasen Powell, you know whatever is about to be said — it’s not going to be a good thing.
What do you do next? Go back to sleep? Schedule an immediate team meeting? Punch the wall? No, no. I didn’t go back to sleep, but I waited until the morning. You do what you do. You talk to Blake and Matias, and then you have a team meeting, and you go get your ass kicked that night.
Not all player fines go to the NBA. In the case of a player being fined by a team (Blake Griffin for example), the organization keeps the fine money. When the season kicked off in training camp, every player was given a player handbook. The handbook consists of a list of team rules and also includes a policy for player fines. The fines ranged from being late for practice to missing a rehab session with the training staff. The fines range up to $5,000, but under the CBA teams have the right to fine a player $20,000 for missing a promotional appearance and up to $7,500 for missing practice a third time during the season.
Rowan Kavner: Doc confirms Blake should be ready for next Sunday’s game against Wizards. Still figuring out minutes/starting/etc in first game back
“It was tough. It was tough,” Jordan recently told The Vertical about his first conversation with Griffin after the incident. “He obviously didn’t want to miss any more time because he was out with his knee before that. But we all make mistakes in life. And we sometimes make decisions that we probably shouldn’t have made – I’m a living testament to that. We learn from it and continue to grow.”
Griffin’s teammates didn’t necessarily need to see or hear him say he’s “truly, truly sorry” to know that he was remorseful or perturbed by the embarrassing situation. “That’s Blake,” Clippers sixth man Jamal Crawford told The Vertical. “He is so hard on himself while playing the game. He expects perfection when he’s playing basketball. He’ll have 25, eight and six, but if we lose, he’ll be like, ‘I could’ve did more. I should’ve did more.’ And that’s what’s always been impressive about him. So he’s always expected that from himself. So I know how hard it is now, dealing with this and what’s going on.”
Ben Bolch: Paparazzi have been stalking Matias Testi’s residence and TMZ snapped the photo of Blake Griffin’s hand, so this hasn’t been easy for them. Wondering if Blake Griffin will give his first take on this issue on The Players’ Tribune.
The L.A. Clippers announced today that forward Blake Griffin has been suspended without pay for four games for striking a team employee on Jan. 23 and his wages will be withheld for one additional game for injuries he sustained. The NBA has assisted us in this process. The Clippers will donate the salary from the five games to charities focused on disadvantaged youth in Los Angeles. At his request, Blake will support this activity with his time.
The following is a joint statement from L.A. Clippers owner Steve Ballmer and President of Basketball Operations and Head Coach Doc Rivers: We have made it clear that this conduct has no place in the Clippers organization. Blake is remorseful and has apologized for his actions. He is a valued member of our Clippers family and we support him as he rejoins the team. He understands his actions have consequences, and is eager to get back to work with his teammates, the organization and Clipper Nation which starts immediately with rehab, appearances and attendance at games. For our team and organization, it is time to move forward which begins today and ultimately concludes when we have Blake back on the court.
In his first interview since Blake Griffin punched out the team’s assistant equipment manager, the Clippers owner sounded as if he was prepared to discipline his All-Star forward. Asked Wednesday night if he felt it necessary for the Clippers to take the kind of action that would represent what they stand for, Ballmer didn’t hesitate. “There needs to be consequences,” he said. “It’s the right thing to do.”
Ballmer was measured when speaking of Griffin, condemning the player’s actions without tossing him under the proverbial bus. “Just remember, Blake is a key part of his team,” Ballmer said. At this moment, the courtside goofball in Ballmer emerged, as he extended his arms to mimic an embrace. “We will welcome him back,” he said with a smile as broad as his shoulders.
“He certainly has been remorseful, which is great, and we’ll find a way to move past it. That’s part of life. An important part of life is learning how to have consequences.”
Blake Griffin’s punching hand is still swollen and scarred … roughly one week after the NBA star underwent surgery for injuries caused from his Toronto fistfight … and TMZ Sports has the pics. The Clippers star finally surfaced in L.A. on Wednesday — and you can see the scar on his right hand from last Tuesday’s procedure to repair the spiral fracture on his 4th metacarpal.
The NBA’s investigation into the Blake Griffin incident at a Toronto restaurant on Jan. 23 will conclude soon and will likely result in discipline for the Los Angeles Clippers forward, league commissioner Adam Silver told USA TODAY Sports on Wednesday. In an NBA A to Z podcast interview that will air later this week, Silver discussed the fight between Griffin and the Clippers’ longtime assistant equipment manager, Matias Testi, that resulted in a broken right hand for the five-time All-Star. Griffin, who is expected to miss four to six weeks because of the hand injury, was on the verge of returning from a quadriceps tear that has had him out since Dec. 26.
“The only update right now is we’re continuing to investigate,” Adam Silver told USA TODAY Sports. “There (are) a lot of people that we want to talk to, and ultimately ensure that we have as complete an understanding as possible as to exactly what happened. I’d say from the league’s standpoint, of course it’s the last thing that you want to see happen. And whether it’s in the NBA, or in any industry, you have one co-worker, in essence, punching another co-worker. That’s a terrible thing. Blake has acknowledged that. But at the same time, I know he recognizes that there are consequences of his actions.”
“That’s what league offices are for, and that’s what team management is for (to determine such matters),” Silver said. “So we’re working closely with the Clippers on this investigation. I know Steve Ballmer recognizes that it’s the last thing he wants to be associated with as the owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, and I know (Clippers president of basketball operations and head coach) Doc (Rivers) feels the same way. We want to bring this investigation to a conclusion fairly quickly.”
The Los Angeles Clippers will decide whether star forward Blake Griffin joins them for the team’s upcoming road trip after the NBA announces the results of its investigation of his punching of an assistant equipment manager.
Ben Bolch: Clippers are hoping to hear about Blake Griffin’s punishment soon but a decision may not be imminent, per league source. NBA takes its time.
Dan Woike: #Clippers hope to have word on Blake Griffin’s punishment by Wednesday, per source
During the dinner, Griffin and Testi began arguing, with sources saying that Testi was taunting Griffin in one fashion or another — either by calling him a derogatory name or saying the team, which had gone 11-2 since Griffin was injured, was better without him.
Testi, who was officially hired by the Clippers in 2014, is no less liked. “I know Matias,” said a player familiar with all the parties. “He’s a good person.” Griffin thought so as well. One league source said that Griffin had purchased a car for Testi, and had helped set him up in a clothing apparel business.
“It’s (bleeped) up,” Clippers guard Austin Rivers said Friday. “It’s a (bleeped) up situation. We’re already like, ‘man, when’s he coming back?’, and he’s about to come back, and now this happens. It’s not like we’re even mad at him, it’s more like, come on, what are you thinking, man — not even just for us, but for yourself. What are you doing?”
Rivers was leaving Mr Chow this weekend — when we asked if his opinion on the fight changed now that we know Blake had been drinking in the hours before he attacked Matias Testi last month. Rivers shook his head ‘no’ — and then went to bat for the NBA star … saying, “He’s a grown man … and he’s a good guy.”
JJ Redick on Blake Griffin’s incident: “I wasn’t there that night, so I don’t have all the the details. I will say that Blake is a friend, Blake is a teammate, I have his back. We can’t be who we wanna be as a team without Blake Griffin. So the sooner he gets back the better off we’ll be as a team. Once he gets healthy and he’s paid his penance, whatever that may be, we’ll welcome him back with open arms.”
The NBA’s investigation of Los Angeles Clippers star Blake Griffin’s altercation with a team staffer is ongoing, according to a league source. After the league spoke with Griffin about the incident Friday, the Clippers were under the impression that the investigation was over and an announcement on any discipline for Griffin would be made early next week.
The NBA and the Los Angeles Clippers have completed their investigation into the Blake Griffin-Matias Testi incident, according to a source. The Clippers have been consulting with the NBA on potential discipline for the star forward, and an announcement is expected next week.
Sources said Testi, an assistant equipment manager for the Clippers, is in no danger of losing his job following a Jan. 23 altercation in which Griffin broke his hand punching Testi, who suffered a swollen face.
Rivers didn’t shed any light on what led to the altercation between Griffin and Testi, who are friends. Rivers said the two men have since been in touch, but he didn’t know what was said. Earlier in the week, Rivers had said alcohol wasn’t involved. But he backtracked Friday. “Did guys have a drink? I’m sure they did,” he said.
Rivers said he’s spoken to Griffin, adding, “He feels awful. We’ve all done some dumb things in our lives. You got to forgive people. We built Richard Nixon a library.”
Dan Woike: Per source, Blake Griffin won’t be at Clippers-Lakers tonight
Serena Winters: Doc Rivers confirms that Blake Griffin will not be here tonight for #LakersVsClippers
Kia isn’t exactly rushing to the defense of their superstar pitchman Blake Griffin — with the car company refusing to say if they’ll stand by the NBA star in the wake of his fistfight in Toronto. We reached out to Kia to ask if Blake’s job is safe … this is all we got back: “Kia is not offering comment on this matter.” Not exactly a rousing show of support for a guy who’s had a working relationship with Kia since 2011. We’re guessing Kia’s just waiting to see how the NBA investigation shakes out before committing to any course of action … can’t really blame ’em.
That is probably enough to crush Clipper dreams of catching Oklahoma City for the No. 3 spot — and avoiding a second-round appointment with Golden State. That is not helpful. The Clippers are lucky the police aren’t involved. The victim, Matias Testi, a member of the team’s equipment staff, has a swollen face. Sources say he has also suffered debilitating headaches since the incident.
Ramona Shelburne: The Clippers, NBA and NBAPA are all investigating the incident with Blake Griffin and a team staffer in Toronto. If there is punishment for Griffin, I’m told to expect it’ll come from the Clippers, while the league makes sure it’s appropriate.
NBA investigators have been interviewing Clippers players and staff members as part of the league’s investigation into the incident between Blake Griffin and assistant equipment manager Matias Testi. Clippers center DeAndre Jordan and assistant trainer Joe Resendez, who were at dinner with Griffin and Testi, were among those who were questioned by NBA security officials.
Legal experts don’t think criminal charges will be filed. They expressed surprise at the national attention the scuffle attracted and believe it’s in the best interest of the two men to resolve the matter privately. “The most likely outcome is that there are no criminal charges,” said Michael McCann, a sports law professor at the University of New Hampshire. “Any potential civil litigation would be settled out of court confidentially, without exposure to the media. It makes a lot of sense for everyone involved to resolve this dispute privately, not publicly. That’s the sensible path.”
Ben Bolch: There’s still no police report and their names were never taken by officers, according to a Toronto Police service spokeswoman. Have been told reason no police report was filed in Blake Griffin incident is because Mathias Testi told officers he was OK at the scene.
Dennis Rodman says Blake Griffin’s punch WON’T be a factor if the Clippers decides to trade him — saying in the end, it comes down to one thing … if can he help the team win on the court.
Rodman was at the Staples Center for the Lakers game Tuesday night when we asked for his thoughts on the situation. “It don’t matter. He makes too much money.”
Griffin released the following statement: “A situation among friends escalated and I regret the way I handled myself towards someone I care about. I want to apologize to the Clippers’ organization, my teammates and the fans for creating a distraction. I am working with the team on a resolution and getting back in the game as soon as possible.”
Testi, a longtime Clippers employee, had been a close friend of Griffin’s and has strong relationships with the rest of the team. “We’re a family,” Rivers said.. Why Griffin and Testi fought remains a mystery. Both men left the team and returned to Los Angeles following the incident. “It shouldn’t have happened,” Rivers told reporters. “They were good friends.”
Robert Morales: Doc Rivers on @Blake Griffin: ‘This is a hard lesson for Blake’
Arash Markazi: For what it’s worth: Griffin is good friends with this staff member. They routinely hang out off the court at home and on the road.
Mike Wells: Caught up with ex-Pacer and current Clipper Lance Stephenson and FIRST thing he said was, “I bet you thought it was me at first. Not me!”
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September 16, 2021 | 8:36 pm EDT Update
Keith Smith: The Shanghai Sharks have signed former NBAers Jimmer Fredette and Noah Vonleh. This will be Fredette’s 5th season with Shanghai. He last played in the NBA in 2019 with the Phoenix Suns. Vonleh was briefly with the Brooklyn Nets last season. This is his first season with Shanghai.
NBA star Giannis Antetokounmpo was in Greece for a meeting with the country’s prime minister Thursday and a special ceremony to bestow Greek citizenship on his mother Veronica and younger brother Alex. Antetokounmpo, who led the Milwaukee Bucks to the NBA championship in July, attended the ceremony at the official residence of Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis. The 26-year-old Antetokounmpo was born in Athens, the son of Nigerian immigrants. He was granted Greek citizenship in 2013, allowing him to travel to the United States and join the Bucks later that year.
“We always felt Greek, but now we have an official stamp and we are happy,” Antetokounmpo told reporters after the ceremony. “Alex and my mom are Greek citizens now.” Antetokounmpo also traveled to Greece in August with his brother Thanassis, carrying the Larry O’Brien NBA championship trophy. He took the trophy to the ancient Acropolis in Athens to celebrate with members of his family.
September 16, 2021 | 8:07 pm EDT Update
Keith Smith: Cleaning up some loose ends on TPEs for the Boston Celtics… The Celtics used the Daniel Theis $5M TPE to acquire Kris Dunn in the three-team deal with the Hawks and Kings. That leaves Boston with five current TPEs. Those TPEs and expiration dates are in the next tweet. 1/2