Blake Griffin/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers
Although L.A. Clippers coach Doc Rivers would love to just talk about basketball, that won’t happen until the Blake Griffin saga is resolved. That will materialize when Griffin’s punishment is meted out for him punching team assistant equipment manager Matias Testi on Jan. 23 in Toronto, Griffin sustaining a fractured right hand.
The word had not come down as of Tuesday morning.
“The league hasn’t said anything yet,” said Rivers, whose team will host the Minnesota Timberwolves (14-35) on Wednesday night at 7:30 at Staples Center. “We’re just waiting and we’ll figure it out when it’s done.”
Rivers answered every inquiry, if grudgingly. He said Griffin might go with the team on its upcoming four-game road trip that begins Friday in Orlando. He intimated that will depend on whether Griffin’s punishment is doled out by then.
Rivers said Testi is “doing good” and said he had not heard that Testi – according to a story on ESPN.com that cited sources – has been having debilitating headaches since the incident.
“No, I don’t know where you guys get these reports,” Rivers said.
Rivers was also asked what the locker-room dynamic might be like upon the return of Griffin and Testi.
“Just so you know, in the NBA, these things happen,” Rivers said. “I swear this is not the first time this has ever happened. It’s happened with players in practice and they tend to heal up, they tend to get better. So I know you guys want to stay on this. I swear we’ve got a basketball (team) to talk about. It’s going to be healed, it’s going to be OK.”
Bottom line, Rivers said, other than the discipline, this is a dead issue.
“Honestly, it’s over with, as far as we’re concerned,” he said. “The only thing is we have to get the punishment from the league and see where we’re going and then other than that, we’re good.”
The Clippers (32-16) have gone 15-3 without Griffin, who hasn’t played since Christmas as the fractured hand was preceded by a quad injury.