Miles Bridges, the NBA player who pleaded no guilty to felony domestic abuse in the fall, was banned for 30 games on Friday, according to the league. Bridges, 25, spent four seasons with the Charlotte Hornets before being accused of abusing his girlfriend in front of their children last June. During the 2022-23 regular season, he was not under contract and did not play in any games.
Prosecutors first charged him with felony domestic violence and child abuse, but did not identify the victims. The NBA said that it will undertake its own investigation.
As part of its inquiry, the league said it contacted domestic violence specialists, questioned witnesses and participants, and examined documentation. Bridges was caught about ten months ago, and he was convicted more than five months ago. According to Mike Bass, an NBA spokesperson, the league “took the time necessary” to ensure the probe was “comprehensive.”
Bridges was detained on June 29 in Los Angeles. Around the same time, Mychelle Johnson, a former college basketball player who has two children with Bridges, shared photographs on Instagram of bruises and other injuries on her body. She made no mention of Bridges, and the post was later removed. In a press release, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office accused Bridges of inflicting “great bodily injury.” Bridges was sentenced to probation and 100 hours of community service after pleading no contest to one count of felony domestic abuse in November. He was also forced to undergo counselling and parenting programmes. The victim was also given a 10-year restraining order, and Bridges was subjected to weekly drug testing.
Bridges was a rising talent until his arrest on the brink of free agency. He was a restricted free agent who was expected to sign a one-year, $173 million deal with Charlotte. Bridges had received a qualifying offer from the Hornets the day before his arrest. He remains a restricted free agent if he has not signed it and the club has not withdrawn it. Charlotte did not respond to a query on Bridges’ contract status from The New York Times, but stated in a statement that the “investigation and ruling were the expected next steps in the process” and that the club would not comment more at this time. The agency representing Bridges, Klutch, did not reply to a request for comment.
Because Bridges did not play this season, the NBA is crediting him with 20 games of his ban. Bridges attended a Hornets-Lakers game in Los Angeles in December, which he would not have been able to do if he had been banned. Bridges told The Associated Press during a Michigan State men’s basketball game in February that he could return to the NBA in March.
The NBA’s collective bargaining agreement states that a conviction for a breach of the league’s domestic violence policy is not necessary. Based on the investigation’s findings, Commissioner Adam Silver has the authority to “fine, suspend, or dismiss and disqualify” a player “from any further association with the N.B.A.” for breaking the regulation.
This season, there were numerous major suspensions in the NBA.
According to two persons who were not authorised to discuss the penalty publicly, the Boston Celtics banned Coach Ime Udoka for the season in September for breaching club rules by having a relationship with a subordinate. According to an individual who was not authorised to discuss publicly, he was sacked in February.
The Nets banned player Kyrie Irving indefinitely in November after he posted a racist video on Twitter and consistently failed to denounce antisemitism. He was out for eight games. After contract extension talks fell down, he was dealt to the Dallas Mavericks.
The NBA banned Memphis Grizzlies player Ja Morant for eight games last month after he displayed a pistol in an Instagram Live video during a game against the Denver Nuggets.