After the Clippers ended a brutal week by defeating the Warriors in Game 7 late Saturday night, 126-121, their battle raged outside the locker-rooms, too. A heated verbal altercation broke out in the tunnel that connects the Clippers and Warriors locker-room with multiple players and coaches getting involved before police had to intervene.
While no punches were thrown, the police were called in to assist when things got out of hand. Clippers coach Doc Rivers and Warriors coach Mark Jackson met in the hallway privately before their post-game press conferences, but it’s unconfirmed whether their discussion was related to the confrontation.
“It was a crazy scene,” a source who witnessed the incident told Yahoo Sports.
USA Today‘s Sam Amick reports:
The incident came in two waves, with most of the Warriors in the hallway at one point along with several Clippers. The police were called to assist, though it’s not believed any punches were thrown.
While all the details of the situation were not immediately clear, it’s believed that Warriors big man Marreese Speights was among the aggressors for the Warriors while point guard Chris Paul was allegedly the irritant for the Clippers — though maybe even in silence. As was described by the witnesses, Paul came along as the incident appeared to be dying down and his mere presence picked things up again.
For all the talk of Blake Griffin and how he gets under his opponents’ proverbial skin, Paul is the one who has been driving the Warriors mad for quite some time now. He wasn’t alone, though, as Matt Barnes and Glen Davis were also among the other Clippers players seen at the scene. The Warriors’ Jermaine O’Neal, Stephen Curry and Steve Blake were also involved, with Golden State coaches — including head coach Mark Jackson — eventually coming out when the situation escalated.
As the Warriors had to swallow the loss and saw their season come to an end, there was loud celebrating in the hallway not far from where they stewed and perhaps some choice words from sources unknown that sparked their rage. Then, one person said, a loud remark was made several times into the Warriors locker room about how quiet it was inside and that prompted several Warriors players and coaches to come out. The Warriors, who found only Clippers ballboys when they first left their locker room, were under the impression that it came from a Clippers assistant coach.
The animosity between the teams can be traced back to earlier games between them this season, including one in March where Jermaine O’Neal and Blake Griffin had a similar off-the-court altercation. There had been a war of words in the press, too, including Blake calling the Warriors “cowardly” and multiple Clippers describing Blake as a flopper.
Still, considering what had gone down earlier this week with a possible boycott looming before Game 5 after Donald Sterling‘s dreadful audiotape recordings (every other team was said to be discussing a mass boycott if Silver hadn’t brought the hammer down), you’d think they would have gotten over the schoolyard taunting.
The reported incident also makes the video the NBA released following the result, “The Clippers and Warriors show respect following Game 7,” something of a misnomer.
What do you think?
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