CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Charlotte Hornets forward Miles Bridges was denied entrance to Canada due to his past legal problems and did not play Monday night in Toronto against the Raptors, a person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press.
The person said Bridges was turned away at the border. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not allowed to speak publicly on the matter.
Hornets coach Steve Clifford would not comment on the reason for Bridges’ absence when he spoke to reporters before Monday’s game. The Hornets lost to the Raptors, 114-99.
“The only thing I’m going to say is neither Miles nor (rookie center 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.
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.
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