Ex-Celtics Sound off on Troubled Hornets Teammate Miles Bridges

Miles Bridges (center) with Terry Rozier (left) and Gordon Hayward

Getty Miles Bridges (center) with Terry Rozier (left) and Gordon Hayward

After five years under .500, the Hornets took a significant step forward last NBA season. A major reason for that progress is absent now and figures to be so for the foreseeable future — maybe longer.

Miles Bridges faces a preliminary hearing in a Los Angeles court Friday, having been arrested June 29 on felony domestic violence charges. He pleaded not guilty on July 19 to assaulting his girlfriend in front of their two children. He is charged with one felony count of injuring a child’s parent and two felony counts of child abuse under circumstances or conditions likely to cause great bodily injury or death.

Independent of the court case, Bridges could be facing a lengthy suspension from the league if there is evidence of abuse.

While this is a far more serious matter than basketball, the Hornets are trying to sort things out. Bridges led Charlotte in scoring and was second in rebounding last season. The club, which prominently includes two former Celtics, made the play-in and is hoping to get into a true first-round series and beyond this year — hope made far more difficult not knowing when, or if, it will have Bridges.

“Certainly he had a great year for us last year,” veteran Hornets forward Gordon Hayward told Heavy Sports. “He’s a big part of what we did last year.

“I think guys are still trying to figure out their own games and trying to figure out a way forward, whether he’s going to be with us or not. You’ve just got to keep going. I think things like that happen, and guys miss extended periods of time, and you kind of just have to move forward.

“None of us know exactly what’s going on with that. I hope whatever’s supposed to happen with that happens. I don’t know too many details. I think a lot of us don’t know too many details, so it’s kind of hard to comment on that.”

Terry Rozier Still Believes in Hornets’ Future

To the notion that the Hornets had been ready to make a jump this season, guard Terry Rozier said, “We still are.”

He shook his head.

“It’s part of the NBA, man,” Rozier told Heavy. “You’ve got to accept things that happen. You’ve got to live with things. Sometimes you’ve got to be without people, and that’s just what it is. It’s part of the NBA.

“You know, that’s my brother. We definitely miss him. We’ll let that thing play out. I don’t want to speak too much on that, but we’re waiting for him when things get right. Other than that, we don’t use that as a distraction. We’ve got our team here, and that’s what we’re working with.”

According to Rozier, the club, now being led most prominently by LaMelo Ball, still has some positives to build upon.

Rozier: ‘Boston’s Always Played the Right Way’

As for what will be better, he said, “I’d definitely say it’s guys having more experience together, but we really want to create an identity now. We want to play the right way. We want to be a hard-nosed playing team, and that’s what we’re trying to do. We’re trying to build that right now, so I think that’s what’s going to be different about us this year, our sense of urgency out there.”

Sort of like his former team, the Celtics.

“Facts,” said Rozier. “Boston’s always played the right way — since I’ve been there and before that, and it’s building that to now. That’s why it’s a special organization, special team. That’s what we’ve got to do, and we’ve got to do it with the guys that’s here.”


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