Jerry Colangelo: Blake Griffin punching Clippers staffer won’t affect Olympic chances

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Blake Griffin broke his hand punching a Clippers equipment manager.

A big deal?

To the NBA season, yes.

To USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo as he picks the 2016 Olympic roster, no.

Ben Golliver of Sports Illustrated:

The incident might not directly affect Griffin’s chances, but indirectly, it very well could. The Clippers are 17-13 with Griffin and 24-8 without him this season. It’s far too simple to say they’re better without him, but they’ve uncovered a style of play – with more floor spacing – that works for them.

It could work for Team USA, too.

Griffin’s stock has never been lower. He’s an excellent player, but so much attention has been paid lately to his deficiencies – his lack of a 3-point shot and rim protection. Elite passing for his size and scoring ability from the mid-range and in just don’t carry the same luster at the moment.

Colangelo very well could opt for a more traditional floor spacer.

It doesn’t help that Griffin surprised Colangelo by withdrawing late from 2014 World Cup player pool (maybe after injuring himself back-flipping into the sea). Griffin also got hurt preparing for the 2012 Olympics, preventing him from joining Team USA’s gold-medal run and engendering loyalty that way.

At least Griffin showed up to last summer’s minicamp. That’s why he’s still in the running, though I don’t love his odds.