LOS ANGELES — Clippers coach Doc Rivers, saying Friday that the Blake Griffin investigation was nearing an end, offered assurance that Griffin 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 ensued at a Toronto restaurant on Jan. 23 between Griffin and Matias Testi, the team’s assistant equipment manager, a friend whom 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. He had been sidelined since Dec. 26.
Rivers declined to disclose any additional details of the event, apart from saying that he didn’t feel alcohol played a role in the fight.
Neither Griffin nor Testi was at Staples Center for the Clippers’ home game against the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday. Rivers said the two friends have been in touch.
Rivers 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.”
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