This is a tale about a teenager and a temper tantrum, but with a twist.
In this version, a 16-year-old girl was sitting about as quietly as one does at an NBA game and probably enjoying the show as the hometown Atlanta Hawks were cruising to Wednesday’s 132-103 rout of the Charlotte Hornets.
Enter Miles Bridges of Charlotte, who had just been ejected for sharing with a referee his perspective on a goaltending call against him.
As Bridges stalked off to the locker room in a cloud of rage, a fan jumped up and added insults — lots of them — to injury.
If Bridges had much in the way of self-control remaining, it was not evident in videos of the incident, which show him hurling his mouthpiece in the direction of the mocking fan.
Miles Bridges popped that little girl in the head with his mouthpiece & she didn’t even flinch. Boss.
— Michael Lee (@MrMichaelLee) April 14, 2022
But some nights, you can’t even make the easy shots. Instead of the heckler, the mouthpiece hit another fan sitting nearby.
According to The Charlotte Observer, the 16-year-old girl who was hit by the mouthpiece did not want to give her name or be interviewed and did not know what she had been struck with until she was shown video of the incident.
Contrition arrived even before the $50,000 fine levied against Bridges by the NBA.
“I let my temper get the best of me. That was definitely the wrong thing to do,” Bridges said after the game.”I was aiming for the guy that was screaming at me and it hit a little girl.”
Somebody get me in contact with the young lady. That’s unacceptable. https://t.co/MlLZjMgcBF
— Miles Bridges (@MilesBridges) April 14, 2022
Bridges was still apologizing the next day, ESPN reported.
“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.”
“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 would like to apologize directly to the fan, and according to one reporter, he was able to do so.
I’m told @MilesBridges was able to talk to the fan he hit with his mouthpiece yesterday.
They talked on the phone. He apologized, she accepted and appreciated the effort.
Kudos to Miles for following through on his apology.
— Will Kunkel (@WillKunkelFOX) April 15, 2022