LOS ANGELES — Clippers forward Blake Griffin said he is “confident” after being charged with one count of misdemeanor battery related to an incident in a Las Vegas nightclub last month.
“I’m really not allowed to speak on that,” Griffin said before practice Thursday. “But I’m very confident in the situation, so once I can [speak on it], I will.”
Griffin said being charged wasn’t scary, but he instead wished it wasn’t hanging over the team.
“I definitely wouldn’t say scary. I feel more badly just for the fact that it’s a distraction,” Griffin said. “I really don’t know how big of a distraction it really is, but it is. So that’s what I feel mostly bad about.”
According to the filing Wednesday in the Clark County District Attorney’s office, Griffin “willfully and unlawfully used force or violence” on Oct. 19 on Daniel Schuman, squeezing Schuman’s hand and shoulder and/or slapping him in the face.
According to reports at the time of the incident, Griffin was upset by camera flashes in his face and grabbed Schuman’s phone.
Teammates DeAndre Jordan and Chris Paul were with Griffin at the club that night but were not involved in the alleged incident.
“We don’t really talk about it,” Paul said. “He’s a teammate, he’s a brother and we’re always going to be there for him.”
According to police, the maximum penalty if convicted is six months in jail and/or a $1,000 fine.
Court records obtained Wednesday show Griffin is due for arraignment in Las Vegas on Dec. 8.
“I love Blake and support Blake, and this will work out,” Clippers coach Doc Rivers said. “Blake was more upset that he thought it was a distraction for the team, and he didn’t want that. I think that’s great that he feels that way. I’m always more concerned with the individual involved. It will play itself out.”
The Clippers held a portion of their training camp in Las Vegas and also hold an annual preseason game at Mandalay Bay. Rivers said the incident would not prevent the team from continuing to go to Las Vegas before the season.
“They’re adults,” Rivers said. “We would have liked it to go away, but it’s part of the legal process. We knew it was out there. We didn’t know if it was going to go away or come back or get handled. We just knew it was out there.”