Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Hornets vs. Hawks: Miles Bridges fined $50,000 for throwing mouthpiece into stands after ejection

The Charlotte Hornets‘ season is over, and it ended in an ignominious fashion. The Hornets were eliminated from the NBA postseason with a 132-103 loss to the Atlanta Hawks in the 9-10 Eastern Conference play-in matchup on Wednesday night after Atlanta pulled away with a huge third-quarter run.

Frustrations eventually boiled over for Hornets forward Miles Bridges, who was ejected from the game after receiving consecutive technical fouls with 6:39 remaining in the fourth quarter. On Thursday, Bridges was fined $50,000 by the league for his actions following his ejection. 

According to the pool report from crew chief James Capers, Bridges received the first technical foul “because he was upset about a no-call at one end, followed by a personal foul and goaltend on the other end of the floor and he aggressively approached the official with a clenched fist.” Capers said Bridges then directed profanity toward the official to receive the second tech, which warrants an automatic ejection.

After being thrown out, Bridges had to be restrained by teammates from going after the referees. He then made his way to the locker room, where he was greeted by jeering Hawks fans. As one fan appeared to wave goodbye to Bridges, he turned and fired his mouthpiece into the stands. It ended up striking a young fan in the face.

Bridges said he intended to hit the man and not the young fan, but the act was irresponsible and unacceptable nonetheless. Bridges took responsibility for his outburst immediately after the game, tweeting a video of the incident along with the caption, “Somebody get me in contact with the young lady. That’s unacceptable.”

“I let my temper get the best of me. That was definitely the wrong thing to do by throwing my mouthpiece,” Bridges said after the game. “I was aiming for the guy that was screaming at me, and it hit the little girl, so that’s definitely unacceptable on my part and I take full responsibility, and I’m ready for any consequences that the NBA may give me.

“That’s on me. That’s out of character for me. … I was definitely wrong, a lot of emotions. Hopefully I can get in contact with the little girl and sincerely apologize to her and do something nice for her.”

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Wrapping up a breakout season in which he is a top candidate for Most Improved Player, Bridges had 12 points, four assists and four rebounds on 5-for-11 shooting in just under 30 minutes in Wednesday’s loss.

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