NBA superstar Blake Griffin smashed a bone in his hand while punching a team employee and friend in the face multiple times at a Toronto restaurant on Saturday, knocking him out of the lineup for four to six weeks while his fractured fist heals.
The victim, Matias Testi, has been on the Clippers’ equipment staff since 2014. The Clippers said they are investigating the incident and will take appropriate actions when that is completed.
Griffin punched Testi in a restaurant, then followed him outside to punch him some more, according ESPN and multiple reports. Griffin had surgery to repair a broken hand on Tuesday, the team said. Witnesses have told TMZ Sports that Griffin, Testi and others were drinking only hours before their altercation.
Sam Amick of USA Today was the first to ID Testi, with information from two people close to the incident.
Here’s what you need to know about Testi:
1. Blake & Testi Were at Dinner When the Altercation Started
According to reports from ESPN’s Michael Eaves, Testi and Griffin were out to dinner in Toronto when they got into an argument. Griffin hit Testi, who then left the restaurant and went outside. Griffin reportedly followed Testi outside the restaurant, where he continued to hit Testi.
Sources told the Los Angeles Times that Testi’s face was severely swollen, but not fractured. It has been confirmed that Griffin broke his right hand, which will keep him sidelined for at least another month.
A complaint was not filed with the Toronto Police Department, and they confirmed with USA Today that they are not investigating the incident. Reports indicate officers arrived at the scene, but were satisfied with Griffin and Testi’s explanation of the incident and that there was “no need to escalate the situation.”
2. Testi Has Been a Member of the Clippers’ Equipment Staff Since 2014 & Has Been Close Friends With Griffin for Several Years
Testi is one of two men who comprise the Clippers equipment staff. According to the website, he has been working in that role since 2014, but photos on his social media accounts show he has been friends with Griffin and other players since at least 2012. He works under equipment manager Pete Serrano, who has been in that role since the 1986-87 season.
The Clippers have released a joint statement from Steve Ballmer and Doc Rivers regarding Griffin’s status and the incident.
L.A. Clippers forward Blake Griffin suffered a spiral fracture of the fourth metacarpal in his right hand throwing a punch on Jan. 23 in Toronto.
This conduct has no place in our organization and this incident does not represent who we are as a team. We are conducting a full investigation with assistance from the NBA. At the conclusion of the investigation, appropriate action will be taken.
Griffin received X-rays on Jan 25th in Los Angeles that revealed the injury and he underwent a procedure on his hand Tuesday morning. The procedure was preformed by Dr. Steve Shin. Recovery time from the injury is approximately four to six weeks.
A spiral fracture occurs “when one end of an extremity is fixed but the rest of the extremity remains in motion,” according to the University of Texas Medical Branch. It is also known as a torsion fracture, because it happens when torque is applied along the axis of a bone. It is an injury commonly caused by punching someone or something and is also referred to as a boxer’s or bar room fracture.
Griffin has been out of the lineup since December 26 with a quad injury.
3. Testi Is Affiliated With an LA-Based Clothing Company Called ‘The Datum Line’
When Testi isn’t working for the Clippers, he’s involved in promoting and developing a clothing line. The Datum Line describes itself as ” A collective of makers and doers from across many fields- artists, athletes, architects, construction workers, teachers, and craftsmen brought together with one common goal: to produce high quality clothing that represents and recognizes hard work.”
Their website features clothing for adults and children, including accessories like hats and socks. Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan have also been spotted wearing Datum Line gear, but it is unknown if they are officially connected with the brand.
4. He Has Partied & Gone on Vacation With Griffin & Other Clippers Players
According to ESPN’s Arash Markazi, Testi was among a group of Clippers players and employees who went to Texas in the off-season to convince DeAndre Jordan to stay with the team.
On his Instagram feed, which is now private, Testi is seen hanging out with several Clippers players. He had Thanksgiving with DeAndre Jordan and family, and is seen hanging out with Blake Griffin on multiple occasions. Matt Barnes also makes an appearance in some photos.
As you can see from this photo, which is on Griffin’s Instagram, the pair get into some hijinks.
Coach Doc Rivers talked about the incident with reporters on Tuesday:
5. This Is Not Griffin’s First Physical Altercation
This is not the first time Griffin has been in the news for being physical. Last October, a man accused Griffin of snatching his cellphone and grabbing him after he took a picture of Clippers players in Las Vegas.
The case was dropped after prosecutors determined there was insufficient evidence.
Almost a year ago today, Griffin was caught shoving a trainer’s face into his crotch on the bench during a Clippers-Nets game.
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