Clippers star Blake Griffin spoke to the media today for the first time since he broke his hand punching friend and Clippers’ equipment staffer Matias Testi in the face, and apologized profusely for it.
I just want to say that I have had a lot of time to reflect, and that I am very truly, truly sorry for what happened. It was a situation between two friends that kind of got out of hand and I exercised poor judgment. I have spoken to Matias about it. I have spoken to my teammates about it ... coaches. The last people to apologize to are the fans, and to show them how sorry I am for this situation. You know, something I feel awful about.
As Clippers beat writer Dan Woike wrote, the striking thing about the appearance was how uncomfortable Griffin looked. He is the face of the team, quite accustomed to dealing with the media, and the pitchman for all sorts of products. But whether because of the embarrassment of the situation, the fact that his name is being bandied about strongly in trade rumors, or something else, the normally ebullient Griffin was somber and wobbly.
Not so somber and wobbly, of course, to forget his media training. Griffin didn’t shed any new light on what led him to punch his friend so hard that he broke his hand, only repeating that it was a situation that got out of hand. And Griffin said he and Testi have spoken numerous times since the incident, and Woike reports that both attended practice Tuesday.
The Clippers have been locked into the fourth seed in the West for awhile now, and that won’t change even with Griffin out. If indeed everything is cool between Griffin, Testi, and his teammates, and if Griffin can come back strong from both his broken hand and partially torn quadriceps, the Clippers might just skate out of this mess without it having a strongly negative impact on their season.