The Los Angeles Clippers suspended Blake Griffin four games on Tuesday for punching a team equipment manager in the face last month. The team is also docking his pay for those four games and additional fifth game. In effect, that’s a $859,442 fine for smashing the face of a team employee and breaking his own hand.
The Clippers haven’t missed Griffin since the incident, which occurred while he was already on the shelf with a quad injury. They’re currently in fourth place in the Western Conference and 18-4 without their star power forward.
ESPN says that Griffin’s suspension is so long — nearly five percent of the season — because of the “severity of the Toronto incident and the injuries sustained by” the staff member, Matias Testi. Somehow, we don't know much about those injuries. Photos of Testi's face haven't surfaced since Griffin broke his hand punching it. But there is a picture of Griffin's puffy, sewn up shooting hand and it's ugly.
When this story first broke and the headline blared that Griffin broke his hand punching a team staff member, it reeked of an entitled athlete taking his anger out on a helpless towel boy. Turns out, this was much more complicated. Griffin and Testi are apparently good friends who came to blows after a dinner where Testi teased Griffin too much for his liking. Clippers coach Doc Rivers has said that Griffin “feels awful.”
Now that he's leasing close to $900,000 for it, we bet he feels even worse.