Blake Griffin may not have actually smacked Justin Bieber at a Hollywood Starbucks in February, but the Los Angeles Clippers star wouldn’t shy away from the task if it were necessary.
On Tuesday, Griffin sat down with Rolling Stone to discuss the rumor that he’d “smacked the s---t” out of a misbehaving Bieber in February after the pop star verbally assaulted a Starbucks barista, confirming once and for all that it was false. However, the 25-year-old also revealed that he’d step in if he ever saw Bieber misbehaving in that manner—if only to make up for one of his own shortcomings.
“If he was tormenting a Starbucks barista, yeah, I’d have to,” Griffin said. “As a citizen, you do your part. Also, it’s a way of giving back to the baristas for never really leaving a tip.”
The viral internet rumor originated on February 11, when a satirical sports blog called Empire Sports claimed that Griffin and Bieber had inadvertently crossed paths at a Starbucks in Hollywood. The fabricated story claimed that Bieber “snapped” after a barista refused to serve him unless he put on a shirt.
The blog claimed that Griffin told Bieber to calm down, but the pop star refused, prompting the Clippers star to slap him. “He smacked the s—t out of him,” a witness allegedly said.
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Despite the story’s playful tone, countless Internet users assumed that the incident had actually occurred. The rumor spread even further after Chris Kaman, Griffin’s former Clippers teammate, jokingly “confirmed” the story on Twitter.
“I was sitting in the corner of Starbucks and Blake did not smack Bieber! Well at least not that hard….,” he wrote. Minutes later, Kaman reiterated that he was making a joke.
Eventually, Gossip Cop spoke to a source close to Bieber, who confirmed that the blog was a hoax. “Justin has not returned to Los Angeles [for weeks],” the source told Gossip Cop.