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Report: NBA still investigating Blake Griffin incident, punishment likely

Not only will Blake Griffin's broken hand, as a result of a fight with a Clippers staff member, keep him from a tough stretch in the schedule, but it's harmful for his personal image which Kurt Helin calls a "black eye."

The NBA suspended Matt Barnes two games for punching Derek Fisher. The Sixers suspended Jahlil Okafor two games for punching fans (or just people outside clubs) over the summer, and then not coming clean with them about it.

Which means once Blake Griffin’s hand heals from where he broke it punching a Clippers equipment manager, he can expect to spend a couple more games in street clothes with a suspension.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver didn’t get into details but hints at a punishment coming in an upcoming podcast with Sam Amick of the USA Today (Amick also used the comments in a story).

“The only update right now is we’re continuing to investigate,” Silver told USA TODAY Sports by phone from his New York office. “There (are) a lot of people that we want to talk to, and ultimately ensure that we have as complete an understanding as possible as to exactly what happened.

“I’d say from the league’s standpoint, of course it’s the last thing that you want to see happen. And whether it’s in the NBA, or in any industry, you have one co-worker, in essence, punching another co-worker. That’s a terrible thing. Blake has acknowledged that. But at the same time, I know he recognizes that there are consequences of his actions.”

The Clippers decided not to punish Griffin themselves, but they had to know this was coming. It’s a black eye for the league to have its stars giving team employees black eyes, and the NBA remains ever concerned about its image. So it will slap Griffin on the wrist, so to speak.

Griffin is not expected back on the court until March, maybe late March, so there is no pressure on the NBA to get this investigation done quickly.