The NBA fined Charlotte Hornets forward Miles Bridges $50,000 Thursday for throwing his mouthpiece into the crowd after he was ejected from Wednesday night’s play-in game loss to the Hawks in Atlanta.
The incident occurred after Bridges was whistled for a goaltending call midway through the fourth quarter and immediately went after game official James Williams, who called two quick technicals on him.
As Bridges left the court and headed to the Charlotte locker room, a Hawks fan yelled in his direction, leading Bridges to turn around and throw his mouthpiece, which hit a fan who was standing nearby. The Charlotte Observer reported that the girl he hit with his mouthpiece is 16.
Bridges apologized after the game for the incident and again Thursday following his exit interview in Charlotte.
« I lost my cool last night with a lot of stuff that went on, » Bridges said. « I normally don’t act like that and that was an embarrassment on my part and for the organization. »
Bridges said he was ready to take « full responsibility » for any punishment the league handed down.
« I deserve it, » Bridges said. « You are never supposed to go out like that, especially because the fans come to the game to watch you play. For their safety to be in danger at that time, that is wrong on my part. I take full responsibility. »
Bridges said he has reached out to the young fan on Instagram to apologize but has not heard back. The Hornets public relations department said it is trying to get Bridges in touch with the fan.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.