Charlotte Hornets forward Miles Bridges has apologized for accidentally hitting a 16-year-old fan with his mouthpiece following his ejection from a game.
“I was aiming for the guy that was screaming at me and it hit a little girl,” Bridges said. “So that’s definitely unacceptable on my part and I take full responsibility.
The “guy” in question was an Atlanta Hawks fan, who was waving his arms at Bridges as he was leaving the court amid a blowout loss in one of the Eastern Conference’s play-in games. Bridges was walking with teammate Montrzel Harrell and was nearly into the tunnel before he pivoted and heaved his mouthpiece at the fan cheering his ejection while the Hornets were down by 31 points to the Hawks. Charlotte ultimately lost 132-103.
Miles Bridges apologizes for outburst
At 9:45 p.m. ET, not long after Bridges had been removed from the game, he quote-tweeted “Somebody get me in contact with the young lady. That’s unacceptable” over a video of his mouthpiece hitting a female fan.
He also came clean during the postgame media session and expressed his sorrow to the young girl.
“That’s out of character for me,” said Bridges. “You’ve been around me; I don’t act like that or ever flash out like that. So that was definitely wrong, a lot of emotions and hopefully I can get in contact with the young girl and sincerely apologize to her and do something nice for her, but that’s definitely on me.”
Bridges’ ejection came after he expressively protested a goaltending call against him after he appeared to cleanly block Atlanta’s De’Andre Hunter. Official James Williams hit Bridges with two quick technical fouls and sent him packing, six minutes and 39 seconds of game time before his squad followed suit.
The fan told the Charlotte Observer that she was, in fact, 16 years old.
A sad night for Charlotte
Charlotte’s loss in the play-in tournament marked the second year in a row that they have been blown out in a best-of-one scenario; last year, they fell to the Indiana Pacers 144-117, bringing them to an average margin of defeat of 28 points in consecutive play-in appearances.
The loss also extended Charlotte’s playoffs-less streak to six years— their last appearance came in the 2015-16 season, back when Kemba Walker was still the main man in the area.
Hornets coach James Borrego was unaware of the situation when asked about it after the game.
“I’m sure we’ll gather some more information and I need some time to talk to Miles and I know he was very emotional at the time, so I’ll gather some more information,” Borrego said.
James Capers, the crew chief in charge of Wednesday’s game, stated that Bridges was given the first technical because he aggressively charged at the official “with a clenched fist.”
“He was ejected because he used profanity directed at the official and it was his second technical foul, by rule, that is an automatic ejection,” Capers said via the pool report.
The league office may take further action against the fourth-year player if it deems it necessary; Bridges said that he will accept their decision, regardless of what it is.
“I was upset about a call, a couple of calls really,” Bridges said. “I let my temper get the best of me. It was definitely the wrong thing to do.”