With the NBA trade deadline looming, Blake Griffin’s name has frequently been thrown around in different trade scenarios. Apparently, Clippers president of basketball operations and head coach Doc Rivers has had enough.
“We’re not trading Blake (Griffin)” were the words uttered by a visibly frustrated Rivers. It echoes a similar sentiment he made 11 days earlier in which he said, “Blake’s ours, and is going to stay ours.”
Of course, all the hoopla surrounding Blake’s possible departure stems from the incident involving a Clippers equipment manager. Griffin had already been out for several weeks due to a quadriceps injury, but the physical altercation at a restaurant in Toronto between he and Matias Testi resulted in Griffin breaking his hand.
The injury has forced Griffin to miss 4-6 more weeks, while also giving the Clippers incentive to trade their franchise cornerstone. It is not the first time Griffin has gotten into trouble with his fists, as the former Oklahoma Sooner got in a fight at a Las Vegas nightclub in 2014, but charges were eventually dropped.
Nearly three weeks removed from the embarrassing incident, Griffin unexpectedly spoke with the media on Tuesday and said he was “truly, truly sorry.” Griffin continued, “It’s something I think about every day and wish I could take it back, and I’ve told Matias that.”
In the meantime, the Clippers will try to hold their ground as the No. 4 seed in the Western Conference. Looking up in the standings at the Golden State Warriors, San Antonio Spurs and Oklahoma City Thunder, the Clippers have their work cut out for them if they are to make a championship push.
Despite the humiliating distraction, that championship push starts with keeping Griffin on the Clippers.