Blake Griffin calls assault charges a distraction

Griffin has been accused of squeezing the hand and shoulder and/or slapping a man at a Las Vegas nightclub

The day after news broke that Blake Griffin had been charged with one count of misdemeanor battery, the Clippers' superstar power forward said at practice Thursday that he couldn't really speak about the incident.

"I really can't," Griffin said. "I'm not really allowed to speak on that, but I'm very confident in the situation. So once I can, I will."

The case filed in Las Vegas Justice Court alleges that Griffin squeezed the hand and shoulder of and/or slapped Daniel Schuman, 39, in the face over an incident involving the use of a camera at Tao Nightclub.

When Griffin was asked if he found the charges frustrating or scary, he didn't hesitate in his response.

"No I definitely would not say scary," Griffin said. "I mean, I feel more bad just for the fact that it's a distraction. And I don't know how big of a distraction it really is, but it is. And that's what I feel mostly bad about."

Griffin faces an initial court date of Dec. 8 at the Regional Justice Center in Las Vegas. According to Nevada law, misdemeanor battery carries a range of possible penalties including six months of jail and/or a $1,000 fine or community service in lieu of jail time.

When Griffin was pressed further to describe exactly how the charges have distracted him, he said they're not the main thing on his mind.

"It hasn't really, I guess," he said. "It hasn't really, to be honest. Honestly, my whole focus right now is basketball, and I promise you I will answer those questions when I can."

Schuman told The Times in a phone interview Wednesday that he had been told not to speak about the incident until he meets with an attorney Saturday.

Said Schuman: "I'd be happy to talk, I'm a talker, but I don't want to influence the outcome of the case because I know very strongly what I believe and I want justice to occur."

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