Mike D'Antoni and Blake Griffin got into a heated altercation Monday night during the Clippers' win against the Rockets. Griffin made contact with Houston's coach, which led to D'Antoni yelling a swear back in his direction. Moments later, Griffin and D'Antoni got into an altercation that only grew bigger as time went on.
Griffin was eventually ejected from the game, along with Trevor Ariza, and eventually four Rockets including Chris Paul tried to charge their way through a back door. It was a heated, and very weird, night that ended up overshadowing the strange coach-player altercation.
D'Antoni believes that Griffin's contact with him was intentional. Via ESPN
"You mean after he hit me? I didn't appreciate it," D'Antoni said.
D'Antoni was arguing with a referee about a goaltending no-call on the previous possession when Griffin veered toward him and made contact. After getting fouled seconds later, Griffin made a beeline for D'Antoni and exchanged expletives with the Rockets coach.
"Well, after he said what he said, I said the same thing back," Griffin said.
D'Antoni declined to elaborate on the contact made by Griffin.
"I'm not going to get into it," D'Antoni said after twice mentioning that Griffin hit him. "It's no big deal. Really, it's no big deal. We just didn't play well tonight."
D'Antoni might not want to get into it, but players and coaches typically don't get into altercations with each other. It's easy to overlook this incident amidst everything that happened afterwards, but this doesn't feel like something that's just going to go away. Whether the league office steps in, or fines/suspensions are handed out, or there's going to be some fall out from this incident. It should make the next time these two meet up very interesting.