New details have emerged over the recent fight between Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin and the team's assistant equipment manager Matias Testi, that resulted in Griffin fracturing his right hand at a restaurant in Toronto on Saturday.
The Los Angeles Times reports Clippers center DeAndre Jordan and the team’s assistant athletic trainer and travel manager Joe Resendez were with Griffin and Testi on the night of the incident, and both Jordan and Resendez were interviewed by NBA security in Atlanta on Wednesday. The NBA is also expected to speak to Griffin and Testi during their investigation, with a potential suspension for one or both in play.
“It's a tough situation,” Jordan told The Times. “Two guys that I'm super close with and it's sticky, man. It's tough.”
Neither has spoken publicly about what happened between Griffin and Testi, who are reportedly close friends with each other and Jordan, but The Times cites a source who said the two “engaged in some of their routine back-and-forth teasing” until there was confrontation inside the restaurant that eventually spilled outside. Griffin reportedly broke his hand after hitting Testi in the face several times, causing swelling.
Toronto police arrive on the scene but Testi reportedly “downplayed” the incident and told officers he was fine, resulting in no official report or charges against Griffin.
TMZ Sports reports that the Griffin and at least one teammate and Testi had been drinking prior to arriving at the restaurant, however, it’s unclear if anyone was fully intoxicated at the time of the incident.
The timing of the incident comes at a significant point of the season for the Clippers. Sitting fourth in the Western Conference with a 30-16 record, the Clippers are trying to build off last season’s successful playoff run but need their leading scorer Griffin to return in order to challenge league-leaders Golden State, San Antonio, and Oklahoma City.
Griffin is expected to miss the next four to six weeks after sitting out L.A.’s last 16 games due to a torn quadriceps tendon. The 26-year-old last played in L.A.’s Christmas Day victory over the Lakers, nearly netting a triple-double of 13 points, 12 rebounds, and seven assists.
Clippers head coach Doc Rivers said earlier this week he was frustrated by the situation, but also said both Griffin and Testi are welcome in the locker room. Griffin could join the bench in Friday’s matchup with the Lakers at Staples Center.
“Everybody will be back,” Rivers said. “We're a team and we're still a team and Blake's part of our team and he's going to remain part of our team and we have to support him and support everybody. It's not just the players.... Everyone is part of our team that's in our travel group.”
Griffin’s evidently spoken to several teammates about the right, but hasn’t directly addressed the entire team.