The Los Angeles Clippers have been playing well without forward Blake Griffin, going 12-3. The talented forward had been missing in action due to a partially torn quadriceps tendon. It was expected that he would be coming back on this current five-game roadtrip that he would be back with his team. But that all took a strange turn following the events of a dinner Saturday night in Toronto. Griffin reportedly got into an argument with Blake’s friend and the team equipment manager Matias Testi. The conversation got heated apparently and Griffin got into a physical altercation with Testi inside the restaurant. The issue ended up going outside the restaurant and Griffin exchanged some more blows with the equipment manager. The result of the fight was both Testi and Griffin sent home. On Tuesday, Griffin had an X-rays taken that revealed a fracture to his right hand. The initial diagnosis is that Griffin will miss four to six weeks. And with that, the Clippers will continue playing without him. But how does this affect Blake and the team?
If Blake is to miss the whole six weeks, he would be back around March 6th. Of course that would give him almost six weeks to get ready for the playoffs. Last season, he was their best player in the playoffs and was a playmaker. But if he misses the full length of recovery, he will have missed almost 12 weeks of playing time. That time will be used to try and implement him back to the offense. And at that point, it will disrupt the rhythm this team has been playing with. To create that rhythm again, it will take time. And with Blake missing as much time as he has, that could cause him to not be the same guy once he comes back. For a team that had personal aspirations of going deep in the playoffs, they would have plenty of work to do to keep the ship afloat. All because of Blake’s one moment of lost self-control, the Clippers just had their outside chances of winning the Western Conference dashed. The Clippers needed to be healthy and as connected as possible if they wanted to win the Western Conference. With Blake missing more time, it will be interesting to see if they are able to capture the magic that had them on the brink of the Western Conference Finals.
The action he will miss from the team is just the tip of the iceberg. There has not been any specifics in regards to the injuries of Testi, but he has more than likely been looked at by medical professionals. But with all that happened, Griffin opened himself up to be sued by Testi. If Testi sues, then he would more than likely win the case. After all, he was the one that took the blows and wasn’t giving out any per the reports. This undoubtedly will be the test of Testi and Griffin’s friendship as well. But along with a test of a relationship, this will also be a test for the NBA. Griffin has now put himself at the front of an investigation that the NBA is cooperating with. Per Toronto Police Department, they have no information from anyone reporting the incident. But the procedure and investigation of the NBA in this one will be interesting to watch. Apparently, no charges have to be filed for the NBA to suspend Griffin. The NBA has their investigation team look into any instance where a player or team makes the league look bad on or off the basketball court. And in this one (where there were surely onlookers), the NBA Investigative team already made it known that they will be collecting data. Depending on the things they find out, Blake could be losing money and losing games with his team along with being out with a hand injury.
There can always be heated conversations, whether people be with family or friends. But this one should not have ever gotten to this level. Blake lost control of his emotions and hit Testi. And based on those facts, there could be more than missed games in his future. We shall see what happens. It’s ironic that the guy that takes the path of least resistance in regards to confrontations to fight on the court is now potentially in trouble for losing his cool off it and punching the equipment manager. And to top it all off, he breaks his hand hitting the guy. For some people, this further adds to the reasons the Clippers are not to be taken serious.