Clippers' Doc Rivers on Blake Griffin: 'You move on, build it back'

ByKevin Arnovitz ESPN logo
Saturday, January 30, 2016

LOS ANGELES -- Clippers coach Doc Rivers, saying Friday that the Blake Griffin investigation was nearing an end, offered assurance that the forward was sincerely regretful over an incident that left him with a broken hand and an equipment manager with a swollen face.

"He feels awful about it, and he's let everyone know that," Rivers said. "That's all you can do. You have to forgive people at some point. I believe that. We built Richard Nixon a library. I mean, my goodness. You forgive people. You really do. You kind of move on, and you build it back."

Rivers said the Clippers will defer to the league on any punishment meted out to Griffin.

"Both parties will get together," Rivers said. "Usually the league leads on that stuff."

An argument occurred Jan. 23 at a Toronto restaurant between Griffin and Matias Testi, the team's assistant equipment manager and a friend Griffin referred to as "someone I care about" in an apology issued to the Clippers and their fans on Twitter on Tuesday. Griffin punched Testi, after which the altercation moved outside the restaurant, where Griffin hit him again.

Griffin, a five-time All-Star, suffered a spiral fracture of the fourth metacarpal in his right hand. The Clippers expect him to miss up to two months. At the time of the injury, Griffin was close to returning from a torn tendon in his left quadriceps that had sidelined him since Dec. 26.

Rivers declined to disclose any additional details of the event, apart from saying he didn't think alcohol played a role in the fight.

Neither Griffin nor Testi was at Staples Center for the Clippers' 105-93 win over the Lakers on Friday night. Rivers said the two friends have been in touch.

Rivers also said an investigation into the incident was coming to a conclusion.

"I think it's over or close to being over," Rivers said. "So that's good."

The Clippers' players have let Rivers do most of the talking when it comes to Griffin's incident.

"They told me upfront, 'Hey, we're out. We're playing,'" Rivers said.

However, Chris Paul did address the on-court impact of Griffin's absence after Friday's win moved the Clippers to 14-3 since he first went down.

"This stretch is going to give guys a lot of confidence," Paul said. "We can win games, but we need [Griffin] to win this championship."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.