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Charlotte Hornets v Minnesota Timberwolves

Source: David Berding / Getty

Hornets forward Miles Bridges and GM Mitch Kupchak addressed the fans for the first time since his felony domestic violence charges and re-signing with the team.

In his opening statement, Mitch Kupchak made it clear that this wasn’t an easy decision to bring Bridges back but made sure to address that there was a thorough investigation and a strong belief that nothing like this will ever happen again. Kupchak also mentioned that Bridges has shown remorse and accountability for his actions. Kupchak also said that he, the ownership, and the coaching staff all had input when it came to bringing him back to the organization. When asked if he has any concerns about the fans wavering support of the team and specifically of Bridges he said that they are aware that this is a polarizing issue and that some fans will have an issue with his return to the team.

In Bridges’ opening statement he said, “First off, I’d like to apologize to everybody for the pain and embarrassment that I caused everyone, especially my family. This year away I’ve used it to prioritize going to therapy and becoming the best person I can be, someone that my family and everyone here can be proud of. I want to thank the Hornets organization and the NBA for giving me a second chance. A lot of people don’t get a second chance, and I want to use this second chance to prove to everybody that I’m the same kid that you drafted five years ago. I’m just happy to be back and I can’t wait to get this year started”.

Bridges said that it has been hard to be away from basketball for a year now, but said that it has given him time to make sure he becomes a better person off the court. He wouldn’t go into much detail about his time in therapy and what he has learned about himself but did mention that he has been attending and will continue to attend therapy. When asked about fan support he said he understands fans not wanting to support him or thinking that he deserves a second chance, but will use this season to redeem himself and show the fans who he really is.

The forward will still have to serve the remaining 10 games of his 30-game suspension at the start of the season before he makes his official return to the court. He will be returning after a career year in the 2021 season with a stat line of 20.2 PPG, 2.3 APG, and 5.6 RPG.