LOS ANGELES: Blake Griffin apologized Wednesday (Thursday in Manila) for an incident that led to him punching an equipment manager and sustaining a broken right hand that will sideline him from four to six weeks.
The Los Angeles Clippers in conjunction with the NBA are investigating the incident, which took place Saturday outside a Toronto restaurant, just as a torn quadriceps that has kept Griffin out for four weeks, was nearly healed.
Griffin, a five-time NBA All-Star, broke a bone in his right hand while punching a Clippers equipment manager. The Orange County Register reported the two had an argument in the restaurant and that Griffin hit the manager several times once they were outside.
Griffin returned to Los Angeles on Monday for X-rays and had surgery on Tuesday, the team announced.
“A situation among friends escalated and I regret the way I handled myself towards someone I care about,” Griffin posted on Twitter.
“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.”
The Clippers are 12-3 without Griffin in the lineup and at 29-16 rank fourth in the Western Conference.
“This conduct has no place in our organization and this incident does not represent who we are as a team,” the Clippers said in a statement. “We are conducting a full investigation with assistance from the NBA. At the conclusion of the investigation, appropriate action will be taken.”
Clippers coach Doc Rivers was frustrated at the situation.
“You don’t want it to happen to anyone, and you obviously don’t want it to happen during the season,” Rivers said. “This type of stuff shouldn’t happen, but it did, and it’s real life and you have to deal with real life sometimes in our make-believe world.”