Blogtable: Thoughts on Griffin’s punching incident?

Each week, we’ll ask our stable of scribes across the globe to weigh in on the most important NBA topics of the day — and then give you a chance to step on the scale, too, in the comments below.


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> Blake Griffin has missed the last 14 games and will be sidelined four to six weeks after injuring his hand in an altercation with an equipment manager. Is this a big thing, a little thing, or much ado about nothing?

David Aldridge, TNT analyst: Oh, very much a big, big thing. This is the face of your franchise, who is not a kid anymore, making a series of increasingly stupid decisions (drinking, drinking in public, arguing, hitting someone, continuing to hit someone until you break your hand) that leave his team in a lurch after it had stoically excelled for a month without him. Not to mention that the Clips gave Josh Smith back to Houston anticipating Griffin’s return in the next few days. Bad, bad form. Gonna take a good long while for Griffin to earn back trust from his teammates and from Doc Rivers.

Steve Aschburner, NBA.com: Little thing. Oh, it’s a big thing right now, in the dog days of the NBA season. And it will bubble up a little bit over All-Star Weekend – because of his absence and all the chatter there – and again when Griffin returns to the court for the Clippers. But this is a manageable “crisis” in that Griffin and the equipment manager are otherwise friends (presumably still), sizable checks can get stroked and there aren’t formal charges. As I see it, it’s a symptom of that team’s overall immaturity and unsuitability to seriously contend for a title. But nothing causal unto itself.

Fran Blinebury, NBA.com: Of course, it’s a big deal. Regardless of the Clippers’ recent record without him, Blake Griffin is one of the top two players on the team and talent usually wins out. However, it also furthers the narrative that the Clippers underachieve each season in the playoffs because they are a loose collection of knuckleheads that won’t ever win a championship because they lack focus and professionalism. Breaking your hand on an equipment manager? Why not run head-first into a wall? At least that might knock some sense into him.

Scott Howard-Cooper, NBA.com: Big thing. Blake Griffin put his team’s season at risk, just when the Clippers had reason for optimism after a bad start. They were winning, they were about to get Griffin back from injury. And now this. Who knows how the hand will heal — or not heal. Who knows how many games this will cost L.A. in the standings and injure chances for homecourt advantage in a series. But his actions open up a lot of bad possibilities for the Clips.

Shaun Powell, NBA.com: I say it’s a big thing, because this is a franchise hauling a history of being Clipper-like, a stigma that was supposed to disappear once Doc Rivers took control. However, the Clippers got ambushed by a Rockets’ comeback in the playoffs last year and so far have nothing special to show for having Rivers, Chris Paul and Blake together. This team has plenty to prove and Blake’s silly and unnecessary “incident” doesn’t help matters at all.

John Schuhmann, NBA.com: Big thing. With how good the three teams ahead of them are, the Clippers’ margin for error is small. And though they’ve played well without him, his injury obviously hurts them with their need to build something toward the playoffs. It also feels like this is another step toward a summer-of-2016 break-up of the Clippers’ core, which has been very good, but not good enough, over the last few years.

Sekou Smith, NBA.com: It’s a huge thing and a potentially season-altering blunder by Griffin that not only shatters any defense of him as anything other than a fake tough-guy. In the absence of any concrete details as to why the dustup with the equipment staffer started, it’s fair to crush Griffin for exhibiting the some of the poorest judgment possible. He’s already missed 14 games with the torn quad tendon and now he’s going to tack on another 4-6 weeks with the fractured hand. Just brutal.

Ian Thomsen, NBA.com: This is a big thing. The Clippers want to contend ultimately for the NBA Finals. This latest self-inflicted torment won’t necessarily knock them out, because Griffin may still have close to two months before the playoffs to regroup with his teammates. Will this be one of those events that convinces him and his teammates to refocus with greater urgency? Or are they going to enable another year to slip away?

Lang Whitaker, NBA.com’s All Ball blogThe injury should be a little thing — as it turns out, the Clippers have been able to endure without Blake this season. So, being without Griffin for another 4-6 weeks during the regular season should be something they can endure with some relative ease. This could turn into a big thing, however, when you consider the circumstances of the injury, or at least what has been reported as the circumstances thus far.

17 Comments

  1. ufz says:

    donald cerrone (ufc guy) said that he was amazed by griffin when he saw that big guy moving so well with a ball. and after that totally ridiculously bad with fighting gloves, not knowing how to throw a punch or nothing.
    opinion validated lol, i’m sure he hits thumbs opened with a scream haha

  2. steve says:

    its like 200k a game. in sallary.
    takes my 4 years to earn that and he earns it 82 times a year.

  3. steve says:

    just dont pay him for the 4 to 6 weeks he is off for it. that is what should happen. leave without pay.
    ouch. probably more than ill earn in my life time.
    give it to ??????

  4. toudi says:

    I don’t see how you could fine a guy who has millions of dollars!
    the only meaningful punishment would be 104 hours of anger management therapy (2h per week for a year)

  5. Sally says:

    Got a little too big for his pants I’d say. That’s what happens sometimes, some of these guys don’t know how to handle the attention, get to thinking they can do whatever they want to because they are in the spotlight and God’s gift to L.A. ……..Not. I would send him packing !!!

  6. Is it true Griffin hit him because he tried to snatch the last piece of pizza?

    That might explain this weird incident!

  7. It's a big deal. says:

    Griffin should be suspended for at least 82 games without pay and fined in the millions.

    People are sent to jail for less. He’s lucky if he doesnt go to jail.

    Imagine if a business person punched out their secretary like this, imagine the uproar.

  8. cLoud says:

    No reports about what happened to Mathias Testi (equip staff)???????????

  9. He should be heavily fined…then traded. He’s done w/ the Flippers in more ways than one. How irresponsible of him. It seems like many NBA players don’t know how to conduct themselves in public. Silly.

  10. beachesq says:

    Charles Barkley said Griffin was a PUNK last year and would not fight. Here he punches out a friend half his size. I think Barkley was finally right about something.

  11. TTKIN says:

    I dont understand how everyone is talking about the injury and not the situation. If the NBA/Clippers do not BOTH suspend him, players are going to think they have the right cuz equipment staffers are below them. How long you think it will be before another player hits a team employee like that?

    The NBA needs to suspend him cuz let’s face it, ANY company in the world where you hit a coworker, youre done. You are an employee of the NBA, which is why you can be traded at any second. The guy is an employee of the Clippers. Would you continue working at a job where guys can come in, hit you, and your company does nothing to get your back? That’s why the Clipps need to suspend him as well. But ya right Ballmer and Rivers will do anything to their little golden child.

  12. John says:

    The injury is a big thing due to the circumstances. How do you trust Griffin’s judgement in a fast paced game with the season on the line if he is unable to make a good choice when only one of the options is bad and that is his choice? We hear, after virtually every championship game or series, how the team with CHARACTER prevailed.. This may or may not be a look into Griffin’s character, time will tell, but at the very least he demonstrated a teenager’s choice not an adult. Griffin was alive before the internet and cell phones, he is not a youngster and should be aware of the consequences of his actions. As for the Clippers and their 11-3 record without Griffin, I believe each of their opponents during that stretch was a sub-500 team, not a winner in the bunch. Now with 4-6 more weeks without Griffin and almost certainly a tougher schedule the Clippers may be in very big trouble.

    • Caldron Pool says:

      Well, check again on their opponents record, most of whom they beat on the road, and there are actually several over 500 teams. Man, it’s like these comments are a contest to see who can sound more ignorant. Well done!

  13. tonichi says:

    Watch Blake reaction to the trash talks from his guard. Possible coaxing words wouuld be “can only beat smaller guyr.” Will there be a lot of technical fouls or will Blake be cowered out of the playing court.

  14. Arran Moses says:

    The problem is not his injury. His actions should have consequences. Suspend him. World Peace elbowed Harden and got suspended 7 games. Griffin beat him until he broke his hand. He is very strong and could have killed him. If he is not suspended, which he should be. A huge fine should be issued, as Matt Barnes got suspended for threatening to violently endanger Derek Fisher, so what should the price for actually using violence be?

    • stacey says:

      I agree…firm punishment

      • Cody says:

        Unfortunately it won’t be as stiff as it should be, or at least I’d be surprised if it is. Tough to crack down hard on a high profile player. If it were up to me, he’d be suspended 20 games and heavily fined. And if I were the equipment manager, I’d be stuffing a lawsuit down his throat. Takes a real tough guy to pick on those smaller than you.