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Blake Griffin calls battery charge a ‘distraction,’ says he’s ‘very confident in situation’

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Speaking before practice on Thursday, Blake Griffin expressed regret that criminal charges filed against him earlier this week has turned into a “distraction” for the Los Angeles Clippers, but expressed confidence in the ultimate resolution of the case, saying he’s “very confident in the situation.”

“I’m really not allowed to speak on that,” Griffin said Thursday, according to ESPN Los Angeles’ Arash Markazi. “But I’m very confident in the situation, so once I can [speak on it], I will.”

Griffin was charged by the Clark County District Attorney’s office with one count of misdemeanor battery in relation to an alleged incident at Tao, a Las Vegas nightclub, on Oct. 19. The complaint states that Griffin “willfully and unlawfully used force or violence” on the alleged victim. The maximum penalty Griffin faces is six months in jail and/or a $1,000 fine. Arraignment in the case is scheduled for Dec. 8.

The Clippers forward is accused of grabbing Daniel Schuman by the shoulder and/or slapping the man in the face after the alleged victim took a photograph of the basketball star.

Despite no evidence on surveillance footage that Griffin actually slapped Schuman, 39, the D.A.’s office felt sufficient evidence was present to warrant charges.

While expressing confidence in the eventual outcome of the case, Griffin nevertheless indicated he is remorseful that the alleged incident and subsequent criminal charges could turn into a distraction for the team and whether the situation is scary.

“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.”

DeAndre Jordan and Chris Paul were both at the club — although not involved in the incident — and CP3 expressed support for his teammate.

“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.”

Clippers head coach also stood by Griffin while discussing the incident.

“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 have somewhat stumbled out of the gate and sit with an underwhelming 4-3 record characterized by some underwhelming play at times. So underwhelming at times, in fact, that Rivers eviscerated the team following an ugly loss to the Golden State Warriors earlier this week. With Griffin playing over 34 minutes and averaging 24 points a game, the last thing the Clippers need is for him to be distracted by things off the court, much less the rest of the team.

(photo credit: Arash Markazi/Twitter)