Charlotte Hornets forward Miles Bridges and general manager Mitch Kupchak addressed the media after Bridges signed his qualifying offer to remain with the Hornets. It is the first time Bridges has spoken to the media since his arrest for domestic violence last year and pretty much the first time Mitch Kupchak has talked about the decision to re-sign him.
Bridges started with a statement:
It’s almost verbatim from a statement he released when the team announced the signing a couple weeks back. That statement read:
I sincerely apologize for the pain, embarrassment and disappointment that last year’s incident caused so many people. Time away from the game allowed me to reflect, immerse myself in therapy and prioritize becoming a better person – someone my family and peers can be proud of. I’m grateful to the Hornets and the NBA community for giving me a second chance – most people don’t ever get one and I understand those questioning whether I deserve one. I will do everything I can to earn back the trust and confidence of my teammates, coaches, the Hornets organization and staff, fans, and the Charlotte community. I’m ready to return to work and can’t wait to rejoin my Hornets teammates.
Nothing Earth shattering in the apology and it’s clearly prepped by a PR person, but it’s a necessary step in this process. His delivery in the press conference came across as genuine and humble, for what it’s worth.
Bridges talked about how the time away from basketball allowed him to focus on his therapy and self betterment. He went on to express that he intends to make himself more visible in the community as he works to repair his image and show people his true character. He said that he wants to be more involved and won’t be doing it out of obligation. He wants to be a role model and someone the Hornets can be proud of again.
Mitch Kupchak was asked about the decision to re-sign Bridges and what went into it. He wouldn’t elaborate on what was done, but he did say that the Hornets conducted their own investigation with legal counsel.
Along with Kupchak, outgoing majority owner Michael Jordan and incoming majority owners Gabe Plotkin and Rick Schnall were all involved in the decision to bring Bridges back. They unanimously decided to go forward with it.
As for the future, Bridges talked about his love for Charlotte and his desire to stay here. He’ll be an unrestricted free agent next summer, so this upcoming season will essentially be a tryout both as a player and a person.