The Rockets and Clippers had quite the eventful Monday night in Los Angeles, as the Clippers earned an emotional 113-102 win over Houston that had plenty of chippy play and extra curricular activities down the stretch.
Blake Griffin was at the center of much of the drama, getting into incidents with Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni, his former teammate Chris Paul, as well as Trevor Ariza, with both of them getting tossed close to the final minute of the game.
That was only the beginning of the story for Ariza, Paul and Griffin, as the two Rockets players led a group that also included James Harden and Gerald Green down a back hallway that connects the locker rooms at Staples Center and into the Clippers’ locker room to confront Griffin and Austin Rivers. Security was able to step in before anything physical happened, and the Rockets players were escorted out of the locker room.
While the focus has been on Ariza, Paul, Green and Harden, there was a fifth member of the Rockets who tried to get involved. Clint Capela decided he needed to back up his teammates, but was apparently unaware of the back hallway that connects the locker rooms, and marched himself to the front door in what is, by far, the funniest part of the entire incident, as told by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
As the drama unfolded later, Rockets center Clint Capela walked down the main corridor and banged on the front entrance to the Clippers’ locker room, league sources said. Soon, a Clippers staff member opened the door and looked up to see Capela, a formidable 6-foot-10 figure standing in the doorway.
She shut the door in Capela’s face. For a few moments, Capela stood there, unsure how to proceed. Before long, Capela walked back to the Rockets’ locker room, showered and headed for the bus with the rest of the Rockets.
The entire incident was bizarre, but this anecdote about Capela from Wojnarowski is objectively hilarious. While his teammates were ready to beef in the locker room, he strolled up to the front door, knocked and got it shut on him by a Clippers’ staff member so he stood there puzzled and eventually just left. I would pay good money for footage of Capela standing there, contemplating his next move before giving up and going back to the locker room to take a shower.
The league will undoubtedly find this incident far less entertaining than most of us have and will likely hand down punishments or at least launch an investigation soon. Capela probably won’t be the focus of any of that, but his involvement is easily my favorite part of this story.