Blake Griffin and Mark Jackson engaged in a frank, face-to-face exchange of ideas after the Clippers' All-Star forward stepped on the foot of the Warriors coach during Thursday's game in Los Angeles.
The Clippers' 126-115 victory included this rare sideline interaction between player and opposing coach, which was prompted when Griffin was instructed by a referee to inbound the ball in front of Golden State's bench. Jackson, standing between Griffin and the half-court line, was talking to the official as Griffin sought to establish his position on the sideline. As he pivoted to face the court and receive the ball from the official, Griffin's right foot grazed Jackson's left foot, causing Jackson to step back and place his right hand on Griffin's hip. As Griffin then turned to run past Jackson down the court, the coach reached out to give Griffin a light push with his right hand.
Later, the two came together for a discussion -- likely concerning personal space preferences -- before referee Ed Malloy intervened to send them their separate ways.
The tension between the two California teams dates to last season. The Clippers believed the Warriors over-celebrated during a developing win, while Golden State felt that L.A. was exaggerating contact.
"He's a great actor," Jackson said of Griffin last January, according to the Associated Press. "I've seen those Kia commercials."
Further fireworks ensued between the two teams on Thursday, as Warriors center Andrew Bogut and Clippers center DeAndre Jordan each received technical fouls after a shoving match.
Griffin finished with 23 points (on 9-for-12 shooting) and 10 rebounds in 34 minutes, but the contest's real story was Chris Paul (42 points, 15 assists, and six steals) out-dueling Stephen Curry (38 points, nine assists) down the stretch for L.A.'s first win of the season.
"Both teams don't really like each other," Paul said Thursday, according to ESPNLA.com. "It is what it is."
The nonsense between Griffin and Jackson isn't a huge deal, but it's worth bookmarking for future contests between the two teams. The Clippers and Warriors should both be big-time players in the Western Conference playoffs, and this incident serves as a little teaser for what could develop when their respective pride (and egos) reach that larger stage.
Bottom video via YouTube user NBA Highlights