Los Angeles Clippers forward Danilo Gallinari fractured his hand Sunday during an international “friendly” he was participating in on behalf of the Italian national team.
Gallinari, 28, fractured his right-hand first metacarpal bone after landing a punch to the face of Jito Kok of the Netherlands. Gallinari threw the ill-advised punch after being shoved by Kok following a free-throw attempt.
Danilo Gallinari, nuevo jugador de los Clippers, en un amistoso con la Selección italiana. Tremenda ida de cabeza. pic.twitter.com/dke2U0VXIF
— Tercer Equipo NBA (@NBATercerEquipo) July 30, 2017
Gallinari will now miss EuroBasket, which begins on August 31, and risks not being able to start Clippers’ training camp healthy in October. The recovery time for Gallinari’s injury is anticipated to be 5-6 weeks.
Gallinari was a key pickup for Los Angeles this summer, acquired in a sign-and-trade that sent Jamal Crawford, Diamond Stone and the Clippers’ 2018 protected firstround draft pick (via the Houston Rockets) to then Atlanta Hawks and a 2019 second-round draft pick from Atlanta (via the Washington Wizards) to the Denver Nuggets. Gallinari’s addition to the Clippers’ roster is anticipated to mitigate the impact of the loss of point guard Chris Paul, who was traded to the Rockets in June.
Gallinari averaged 18.2 points, 5.2 rebounds and 2.1 assists starting for the Nuggets last season. The eight-year NBA veteran was selected by the New York Knicks with the 6th pick in the 2008 NBA Draft.
Los Angeles formally welcomed the Italian native known as “Il Gallo” (The Roster) to their franchise on July 9. Clippers’ executives cannot be pleased with Gallinari’s lack of self-control and display of poor judgement a mere three weeks later.
Gallinari is not the first Clipper to fracture a metacarpal bone punching someone in the face. On January 23, 2016, forward Blake Griffin fractured his hand following an altercation with a member of the Clippers’ equipment staff, Matias Testi.
DENVER, CO – DECEMBER 28: Danilo Gallinari (8) of the Denver Nuggets takes a breather against the Minnesota Timberwolves during the second half of the Nuggets’ 105-103 win. The Denver Nuggets hosted the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday, December 28, 2016. (Photo by AAron Ontiveroz/The Denver Post via Getty Images)