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May 26, 2024

Miles Bridges Denied Entry into Canada, Ruled Out of Hornets vs Raptors Game

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Dec 19, 2023

Charlotte Hornets forward Miles Bridges was denied entry into Canada on Sunday and ruled out of Monday’s game against the Toronto Raptors due to his ongoing legal situation.

Background on Bridges’ Legal Case

Bridges was arrested in Los Angeles in July 2022 and charged with three felony counts of injuring a child’s parent after allegedly assaulting his girlfriend in front of their two children. He pleaded not guilty to the charges in August and is currently out on bail awaiting trial, which is set to begin in April 2023.

As part of his bail conditions, Bridges was ordered to stay away from the woman and children, surrender his passport, and submit to electronic monitoring. He is also not allowed to leave California without permission from the court.

Canada Denies Bridges Entry

When the Hornets traveled to Toronto on Sunday for their Monday night game, Bridges was apparently denied entry at the border due to his legal troubles.

The Raptors announced Sunday evening that Bridges would miss the game due to “personal reasons.” However, multiple reports indicated that Canadian border officials did not allow him into the country.

Sources told ESPN that Bridges and the Hornets were aware that getting into Canada could be an issue but attempted to travel to Toronto anyway.

Under Canadian law, travelers can be deemed “criminally inadmissible” to the country if they have an outstanding criminal charge or conviction that could carry a maximum jail term of 10 years or more. Bridges’ felony domestic violence charges meet that criteria.

Impact on Hornets Without Bridges

In addition to Bridges, the Hornets were also without injured starters LaMelo Ball, Terry Rozier, and Cody Martin for Monday’s game. Missing their top four players, Charlotte struggled against Toronto’s defense in a 114-99 loss.

Stat Value
Points 99
Field Goal % 41.9%
3-Point % 34.2%
Rebounds 35
Assists 23

Bridges had been Charlotte’s leading scorer so far this season, averaging 20.1 points per game. Without him and their other starters, the Hornets failed to find much offense against a tough Raptors team.

Backup small forward Jalen McDaniels led Charlotte with 19 points on Monday. The Hornets simply lacked the firepower minus their key players to keep up with a balanced Toronto attack.

What Happens Next for Bridges and Hornets

Bridges’ absence exemplified how much of an impact his legal situation could have on the Hornets this season. If he ends up convicted and handed a lengthy suspension by the NBA, it would be a huge blow to the team’s success.

For now, Bridges and the Hornets will await the trial beginning on April 17. The outcome of that case will determine how much time, if any, he misses in the future.

It’s possible Bridges avoids jail time through a plea deal or probation. But if convicted on all charges, he could face over four years in prison. The NBA is also conducting their own investigation into the incident and will likely hand down additional discipline.

The Hornets’ next game is home against the Los Angeles Lakers on Monday, December 19. Bridges is not expected to face any travel issues for that contest. But his legal situation will continue hanging over the team as the season rolls on.

Could Bridges Miss More Games in Canada?

With additional road games against the Raptors scheduled on January 10 and March 28, the question emerges whether Bridges will be allowed to play in those contests.

Much depends on where his case stands in April and what type of permission he can get from the court. Canada seemingly will not budge on allowing anyone in Bridges’ situation into the country.

If Bridges avoids jail time but remains under court supervision, he would need specific clearance to travel out of state and internationally. Without it, he might be forced to sit out more games in Toronto.

That would require some creative lineup and rotation adjustments by the Hornets coaching staff. Already down several key players, being without Bridges for up to two more division games versus the Raptors would make earning a playoff spot even more challenging.

Bridges and LaMelo Ball: Charlotte’s Present and Future

The pairing of Bridges and reigning Rookie of the Year Ball was expected to headline Charlotte’s success this season. Both landed new lucrative contracts over the summer, with Bridges signing a 4-year, $120 million deal.

Ball remains sidelined with an ankle injury but made huge leaps in year two establishing himself as a franchise pillar. Bridges’ breakout year last season also elevated his status as a core piece for the Hornets to build around.

That’s why his legal issues place the team in such a difficult spot. Bridges looked poised to be part of Charlotte’s bright future alongside Ball. Now his future not only in Canada but the entire NBA is in question.

For a Hornets squad hoping to return to the playoffs this season and build momentum for next year, Bridges’ absence severely hampers those goals. The waiting game on his trial and potential discipline will make it hard for the organization to move forward definitively until they know exactly what his fate entails.

All they can do is support him legally while trying to stay afloat competitively. It’s a tricky balancing act but that is the unexpected situation the Hornets and Bridges now face stemming from the events of last July. How this will impact the trajectory of the franchise remains a huge question mark.

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AiBot scans breaking news and distills multiple news articles into a concise, easy-to-understand summary which reads just like a news story, saving users time while keeping them well-informed.

To err is human, but AI does it too. Whilst factual data is used in the production of these articles, the content is written entirely by AI. Double check any facts you intend to rely on with another source.

By AiBot

AiBot scans breaking news and distills multiple news articles into a concise, easy-to-understand summary which reads just like a news story, saving users time while keeping them well-informed.

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