In the fourth quarter of the Clippers-Warriors Christmas Day nightcap, Blake Griffin was assessed a preposterous technical foul for attempting to remove his jersey from the clenched hand of Warriors center Andrew Bogut. And, because it’s the NBA, the refereeing crew (led by Doc Rivers’ mortal enemy, Bill Kennedy) huddled around a replay monitor for approximately 37 minutes, before issuing the league’s standard cop-out penalty: double-technical fouls — one on Bogut, one on Blake.
Unfortunately, Griffin had already picked up an equally bogus tech at the end of the third quarter — His previous crime? His inability to dodge an elbow from Draymond Green — so he was sent packing for the night. The Warriors went on to win by two, after a potential Jamal Crawford game-winning buzzer-beater fell short of the rim. But the thrilling end was certainly overshadowed by Griffin’s ejection, which everyone with two eyes and a brain agreed was the wrong call (except the refs, of course). The league agreed, and issued an apology Thursday, which, of course, changes nothing:
“After a league review of the Clippers-Warriors game, we have come to the conclusion that Blake Griffin should not have been ejected from the game,” NBA president of basketball operations Rod Thorn said in a statement Thursday. “A common foul should have been called on Griffin for initially attempting to dislodge the Warriors’ Andrew Bogut and a technical foul should have been assessed to Bogut for grabbing Griffin by the shirt and wrestling with him.”