Blake Griffin, the Los Angeles Clippers power forward, was suspended four games without pay on Tuesday for his altercation with a team staff member last month.
The Clippers will dock the superstar player’s pay for an additional game since he broke his shooting hand in the incident. According to ESPN, Griffin will lose a total of $859,442 from his season salary of $18,907,725.
Griffin, who was drafted with No. 1 overall pick in 2009, reportedly punched Clippers equipment manager Matias Testi in a Toronto restaurant on January 23. Testi, who evoked the anger of Griffin by stating that the team was better off without the forward, suffered a swollen face.
Since Griffin is still healing his broken hand, the suspension will come into effect only after he is deemed cleared to return to the court. Following the incident in Toronto, team officials were expecting Griffin to be out of action for four-to-six weeks depending on time required for rehabilitation.
Donating to charity…
Per Griffin’s request, the docked salary from the five suspended games will be donated to charities that help disadvantaged youth in Los Angeles.
Clippers owner Steve Ballmer and head coach Doc Rivers released a joint statement Tuesday, condemning Griffin’s actions. “We have made it clear that this conduct has no place in the Clippers organization. Blake (Griffin) is remorseful and has apologized for his actions. He is a valued member of our Clippers family and we support him as he rejoins the team.”
“He understands his actions have consequences and is eager to get back to work with his teammates, the organization and Clipper Nation, which starts immediately with rehab, appearances and attendance at games,” added the team statement.
Testi, the target of Griffin’s wrath, wasn’t disciplined by the team, and is expected to re-join the team soon. “I definitely feel for both parties (Griffin and Testi),” Clippers center DeAndre Jordan, an eyewitness when the scuffle broke out, said recently.
The Clippers are 18-4 without Blake Griffin, who has been out of action since December 26 with a partially torn left quadriceps tendon. Luckily for the team, the forward should be available for the postseason.