NBA: LA Clippers suspend Blake Griffin for four games for punching staff member

Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin (right).
Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin (right). PHOTO: AFP

LOS ANGELES (REUTERS) - The Los Angeles Clippers have suspended forward Blake Griffin for four games and will withhold his pay for an additional contest for punching an equipment manager last month, the National Basketball Association team said on Tuesday.

The Clippers said the Jan 23 incident in Toronto, which left the five-time All-Star with a broken hand and was expected to keep him sidelined four to six weeks, has no place in their organisation.

"Blake is remorseful and has apologised for his actions," the Clippers' owner Steve Ballmer and head coach Doc Rivers said in a joint statement. "He understands his actions have consequences, and is eager to get back to work with his team-mates, the organisation and Clipper Nation which starts immediately with rehab, appearances and attendance at games."

The Clippers, who revealed that the NBA assisted them in setting Griffin's punishment, also said they will donate the salary from the five games Griffin will miss to charities focused on disadvantaged youth in Los Angeles.

At his request, the team also said the player, who was selected by the Clippers with the first overall pick in the 2009 NBA Draft, requested to spend time with the charities.

Griffin, 26, is averaging 23.2 points and 8.7 rebounds per game this season but has not played since Christmas Day because of a partially torn left quadriceps tendon.