Clippers' Blake Griffin suspended four games
Clippers forward Blake Griffin has been suspended four games without pay for striking a team employee on Jan. 23, the team announced on Tuesday.
The decision to suspend Griffin was made in conjunction with the NBA.
The Clippers will donate the salary from five of Griffin's game checks to charities focused on disadvantaged youth in the Los Angeles area. Griffin will also participate in activities with the charities.
Clippers owner Steve Ballmer and head coach Doc Rivers issued a joint statement, expressing their support for Griffin but also condemning his actions as unacceptable.
"We have made it clear that this conduct has no place in the Clippers organization. Blake is remorseful and has apologized for his actions,” the statement reads. “He is a valued member of our Clippers family and we support him as he rejoins the team."
Griffin sustained a broken hand when he struck Matias Testi, a Clippers equipment manager, at a restaurant in Toronto in January. Griffin later underwent two procedures to repair the damage to his fractured right hand, according to ESPN.com's Ramona Shelburne. The team expects Griffin to return to the court in four to six weeks.
Prior to his suspension, Griffin issued an apology and described the incident.
“A situation among friends escalated and I regret the way I handled myself towards someone I care about,” Griffin wrote on Twitter. “I want to apologize to the Clippers organization, my teammates and the fans for creating a distraction.”
Griffin has not played for the Clippers since Christmas Day, when he started what was expected to be a two-week absence due to a partially torn left quadricep. Griffin, who has now missed 22 games, averaged 22.3 points and 8.7 rebounds in the first 30 games of the NBA season.