For a guy who looks like a friendly, easygoing superhero car salesman, Blake Griffin sure does fly off the handle pretty easily on the basketball court.
This time, it’ll cost him, as ESPN's J.A. Adande reports:
Blake Griffin picks up his 16th technical for swiping at Mozgov after whistle. Automatic suspension for POR game tomorrow— J.A. Adande (@jadande) April 16, 2014
UPDATE: Wednesday, April 16, at 2:05 p.m. ET
Welp, it looks like the Clippers will have to finish their quest for second place in the Western Conference without Griffin. Yahoo Sports' Marc J. Spears confirms that Griffin will miss Los Angeles' regular-season finale:
LAC's Blake Griffin suspended one game (to be served tonight vs Blazers) for receiving 16th technical (game on April 15) of 2013-14 season.— Marc J. Spears (@SpearsNBAYahoo) April 16, 2014
Let this be a lesson to you all: Don't whack The Mozgov.
---End of update---
Yeah, hitting a dude across the face with a sequoia-sized forearm after the whistle probably isn't going to fly.
As Adande noted, Griffin will miss Wednesday's regular-season finale against the Portland Trail Blazers.
This is actually a much bigger deal than it sounds: If the Clippers win and the Oklahoma City Thunder lose, L.A. would backdoor its way into the Western Conference’s No. 2 seed and home-court advantage through at least the first two rounds of the playoffs.
Now, the Thunder finish their slate against the Detroit Pistons, who may be starting five kangaroos for all we know. It should be an easy win for OKC. But we’ve certainly seen weirder.
Still: Really, Blake? Timofey Mozgov? They guy you once did this to?
I can’t even begin to fathom what Timo—a 7-foot teddy bear in basketball shoes—could’ve possibly done to incite this kind of regular rage in Blake. Here are my three most sensible guesses:
- Borrowed Blake’s Slap Chop and never returned it.
- Borrowed Blake’s Expandable Hose and never returned it.
- Burned Blake’s house down.
The first two I can see getting upset about. The last one? You’re a multimillionaire. Buy a new one!
Anyway, that was dumb, Blake.
What’s worse, you could argue Blake shouldn’t have been put in this position to begin with, owing to a bad call made in L.A.’s Christmas Day game against the Golden State Warriors. Here’s Sports Illustrated’s Ben Golliver to explain:
Griffin received two technical fouls: the first at the end of the third quarter, and the second, which required an automatic ejection, early in the fourth. On the first foul, Griffin was given a technical for reacting to an elbow from Draymond Green, who was whistled for a flagrant foul. On the second, Griffin was reacting to Andrew Bogut, who had grabbed his jersey. An NBA review determined that Griffin should not have been given the second technical foul and should have remained in the game.
At the same time, 15 technical fouls is a lot of technical fouls; sooner or later, karma’s going to catch up with you.
Karma, thy name is Doc Rivers. From ESPN's Arash Markazi:
Doc Rivers said Blake Griffin will not travel with the team to Portland, regardless of if the technical is rescinded.— Arash Markazi (@ArashMarkazi) April 16, 2014
Should the Thunder take care of their business and dispatch the lowly Pistons, this will all be mercifully moot. If, however, the Thunder lay down a stinker and the Clippers end up falling to the Blazers—on a late-game alley-oop from Chris Paul to Glen “Big Baby” Davis that goes horribly wrong—we’ll be talking about this one for a while.
More like Blake Missin’, huh?
Alright, alright, I'm leaving.