Hornets’ Miles Bridges fined $50K for hitting fan with mouthguard after Hawks defeat
The NBA slapped Charlotte Hornets forward Miles Bridges with a $50,000 fine on Thursday, April 14, after he threw his mouthpiece into the crowd following his ejection from Wednesday's play-in loss to the Hawks in Atlanta.
The standard fine for a player hurling his mouthpiece into the stands, according to NBC Sports, has been $25,000. Stephen Curry was charged $50,000 for throwing his mouthpiece toward an official, while NBA legend Charles Barkley was fined $10,000 for spitting on a fan during a 1991 game. Bridges was frustrated after picking up two technical fouls for arguing a call and being ejected from the game on Thursday. He was heckled by a fan on his way to the locker room, prompting him to hurl his mouthpiece in that direction and mistakenly hitting a young girl instead.
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An agitated Bridges was reeling under the Hornets' play-in loss to the Hawks as their season was nearly finished. The heckling from an Atlanta fan was the last straw before Bridges whipped his mouthpiece at the man from point-blank range. However, the mouthpiece flew right past Bridge's intended target and straight into a young girl's face. The NBA subsequently announced a $50,000 penalty for the Hornets' forward.
Bridges profusely apologized after the outburst that came after two technical fouls in the fourth quarter. The Hornets ultimately lost 132-103 against the host Atlanta Hawks in the Eastern Conference play-in. "I was upset about a call – a couple of calls, really – and I let my temper get the best of me," Bridges said after the game. "That was definitely the wrong thing to do, throwing my mouthpiece. I was aiming for the guy that was screaming at me, and it hit a little girl. So, that’s definitely unacceptable on my part, and I take full responsibility."
The NBA star added he was ready to accept any disciplinary action handed down by the league. "I’m ready for any consequences that the NBA gives me," he continued. "That’s on me. That’s out of character for me. You’ve been around me. I don’t act like that or never 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 added, "I normally don’t let my emotions get the best of me. And for me to be in one of the biggest games I’ve ever played in and that happens, that’s unacceptable for me. That gives a bad image to my name and to who I am as a person, and that’s on me. Especially hitting a little girl, that’s terrible. I like to right my wrongs. So, I apologize, for sure."
Miles Bridges postgame about throwing his mouthpiece at a fan & accidentally hitting a 16-year-old girl— Ballislife.com (@Ballislife) April 14, 2022
"That was definitely wrong. Hopefully I can get in contact with the young girl & sincerely apologize & do something nice for her. That's on me."pic.twitter.com/sESgUvgadD
Twenty four-year-old Bridges averaged 20.2 points, 7 rebounds, and 3.8 assists in 80 games, all starts, this season. On Wednesday, he scored 12 points, 4, rebounds, and 4 assists for the Hornets in the season-ending defeat.