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Hornets' Miles Bridges denied access to Canada for NBA game due to legal problems

Charlotte Hornets forward Miles Bridges shoots over Minnesota Timberwolves center Rudy Gobert during the first half of an NBA basketball game Saturday, Dec. 2, 2023, in Charlotte, N.C. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)
Original Publication Date December 18, 2023 - 1:11 PM

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Charlotte Hornets forward Miles Bridges has been denied entrance to Canada due to his past legal problems and will not be available to play Monday night in Toronto against the Raptors.

A team official confirmed that Bridges would be listed as not with the team for "personal reasons" on the official scoresheet. Hornets coach Steve Clifford would not comment on the reason for Bridges’ absence when he spoke to reporters before Monday’s game.

“The only thing I’m going to say is neither Miles nor (rookie centre Nathan Mensah from Ghana) will be here with us tonight,” Clifford said. “That’s all I’m going to say.”

Bridges is currently serving three years of probation after pleading no contest in exchange for no jail time in the June 2022 domestic violence case involving the mother of his two children, who accused Bridges of assaulting her in front of them. He must adhere to a 10-year criminal protection order for the woman, weekly narcotics and marijuana testing, and restitution, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office.

Bridges most recently turned himself in on Oct. 13 after an arrest warrant was issued for an alleged protection order violation.

The warrant had originally been issued on Jan. 2, but had not previously been served until October, just before the NBA season. Per court documents, Bridges “unlawfully” and “knowingly” violated the protection order.

That case is still pending.

Canada Border Services Agency spokesperson Rebecca Purdy said they do not provide details on specific individual cases, but anybody seeking entry into the country must “demonstrate they meet the requirements to enter.”

“Admissibility is decided case-by-case and based on the information made available at the time of entry,” Purdy said in an email to the AP. “Several factors are used in determining if an individual is admissible to Canada, including involvement in criminal activity, human rights violations, organized crime, security, health or financial reasons.”

Bridges was suspended by the NBA for the first 10 games of the season after sitting out all of last season. He is averaging 19.6 points and 7.2 rebounds per game since his return from suspension in 12 starts.

Bridges’ absence means the Hornets will be severely short-handed for a second straight game as they look to snap a four-game losing streak.

“It’s all hands on deck,” Clifford said.

When they hosted Philadelphia on Saturday, the Hornets were without three starters in LaMelo Ball (right ankle), Gordon Hayward (illness) and Mark Williams (back), plus two key reserves in P.J. Washington (left shoulder) and Cody Martin (left knee). The Hornets lost guard Terry Rozier in the third quarter when he caught an elbow to the nose.

Without those players, the Hornets lost 135-82, their worst loss in franchise history. Charlotte’s only win in its past seven games was a home victory over Toronto on Dec. 8.

Rozier and Washington were both set to return Monday against the Raptors, the Hornets announced.

Clifford said he shared a positive message with his players at Monday morning’s shootaround.

“We are obviously super (undermanned) here,” Clifford said, “and we can win tonight.”

Toronto head coach Darko Rajakovic said that his team's preparation didn't change drastically with the Hornets missing so many players.

"They're going to have a starting five, we're going to have a starting five, it'll be five against five and it goes from there," said Rajakovic.

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AP Sports Writer Ryan Kryska and AP freelance Sports Writer Ian Harrison contributed to this report.

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AP NBA: https://apnews.com/hub/nba

News from © The Associated Press, 2023
The Associated Press

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