What a week for the National Basketball Association. Is there any other professional sports league that provides more interesting headlines than the NBA? Let’s just take a walk back down memory lane at some of the best moments from this past week in the Association.
Griffin goes down
On Tuesday morning I woke up to the same strange news that most NBA fans did. Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin injured himself punching a team employee. This is the type of story that is strange; you immediately need to know all the details. I was holding out hope all day long that somehow a TMZ video would surface of the incident. As the day went on that video did not come out, but more facts did.
The Clippers announced that Griffin will miss four to six weeks with a fractured hand from an incident in Toronto that will be investigated by both the team and the NBA. It has been widely reported that Griffin was actually good friends with the staffer on the receiving end of the punch.
Allow me to take the time to state the obvious: violence is not the answer. But I am still curious as to how this type of situation even arises. This latest incident will add to the history of Clippers franchise mishaps as they chase after a championship. This team will certainly miss Griffin, although they have fared well without him this season. The Clippers are 12-3 this season in games without Griffin and just 17-3 with him. I expect them to pick up some more losses without Griffin for the next month and a half.
Cleveland Cavaliers fire David Blatt
It is not often that you see the coach of a team in first place get fired during the middle of the season. However, that is what the Cleveland Cavaliers decided to do with David Blatt. The Blatt experiment was doomed from the start in the eyes of many. The Cavaliers hired Blatt after a successful coaching career in Europe. Nonetheless, Blatt was hired before LeBron James made the decision to return to the Cleveland Cavaliers.
It made for a power struggle from the start. James and Blatt had their ups-and-downs over the course of a year and a half under the scrutiny of the public microscope. Their public interactions were debated and dissected, especially in the playoffs. When Cleveland had no answers for the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals, the blame was placed on injuries to Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love as well as David Blatt being outcoached by Steve Kerr.
The final straw in Blatt’s days in Cleveland appeared to be when the Cavaliers were blown out by the Golden State Warriors on national television on Martin Luther King Day. Suffering a 34-point loss to the defending champions was not a good look for a team that has championship aspirations. It was clear that what Cleveland had been doing was not working. The Warriors were the example of where they wanted to be and it did not look like Blatt would ever be able to take them there. Now that could be for personal reasons as the Warriors are the most well built team in the NBA, but it is easier to just blame the coach than the entire roster. Blatt had to fall on that sword.
The Warriors Whip the Spurs
The matchup between the Golden State Warriors and the San Antonio Spurs had regular season game of the year potential. Instead the Warriors made quick work of the Spurs, beating them 120-90. Now the Spurs did not play Tim Duncan, a typical move for head coach Gregg Popovich, but Duncan’s absence does not justify a 30-point loss. The Spurs had no answer for Stephen Curry who made 37 points in 28 minutes look effortless. I am not sure what positives the Spurs could take away from a loss like this. It did make one thing very clear: there is a wide gap between Golden State and the rest of the league.
Spencer Mayfield is a staff writer for The Daily Campus, covering women’s basketball. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.