Miles Bridges, the N.B.A. forward who pleaded no contest to felony domestic violence in the fall, has been suspended for 30 games, the league announced on Friday. Bridges, 25, had played for the Charlotte Hornets for four seasons before he was accused of assaulting his girlfriend in front of their children last June. He was not under contract during the 2022-23 regular season and did not appear in any games.
Prosecutors initially charged him with several counts of felony domestic violence and child abuse, though they did not name the victims. The N.B.A. said it would conduct its own inquiry.
The league said it had consulted domestic violence experts, interviewed witnesses and the people involved and reviewed materials as part of its investigation. It has been almost 10 months since Bridges was arrested, and more than five months since he was sentenced. Mike Bass, an N.B.A. spokesman, said the league “took the time necessary” to ensure that the investigation was “comprehensive.”
Bridges was arrested in Los Angeles on June 29. Around that time, Mychelle Johnson, a former college basketball player who has two children with Bridges, posted photos on Instagram showing what appeared to be bruising and other injuries on her body. She did not mention Bridges, and the post was subsequently deleted. The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, in a news release, accused Bridges of causing “great bodily injury.” After pleading no contest to one count of felony domestic violence in November, Bridges was sentenced to probation and 100 hours of community service and ordered to attend counseling and parenting classes. The sentence also included a 10-year restraining order for the victim and weekly drug tests for Bridges.
Bridges was a rising star before his arrest, which came on the eve of free agency. He was a restricted free agent projected to receive a maximum contract from Charlotte worth around $173 million. The Hornets had made a qualifying offer to Bridges the day before his arrest. If he has not signed it, and the team has not withdrawn it, he remains a restricted free agent. Charlotte did not answer a question from The New York Times about Bridges’s contract status, but said in a statement that the “investigation and ruling were the expected next steps in the process” and the team would not comment further at this time. Klutch, the agency that represents Bridges, did not respond to a request for comment.
The N.B.A. is crediting Bridges for 20 games of his suspension because he did not play this season. Bridges attended a Hornets game against the Lakers in Los Angeles in December, which would not have been allowed if he had been suspended. In February, Bridges told The Associated Press during a Michigan State men’s basketball game that he might return to the N.B.A. in March.
The N.B.A.’s collective bargaining agreement stipulates that a conviction is not required for a violation of the league’s domestic violence policy. It empowers Commissioner Adam Silver, based on the finding of the investigation, to “fine, suspend, or dismiss and disqualify” a player “from any further association with the N.B.A.” for violating the policy.
There were several notable suspensions in the N.B.A. this season.
In September, the Boston Celtics suspended Coach Ime Udoka for the season for violating team policy by having a relationship with a subordinate, according two people who were not authorized to discuss the punishment publicly. They then fired him in February, according to a person who was not authorized to comment publicly.
In November, the Nets suspended guard Kyrie Irving indefinitely after he shared an antisemitic film on Twitter and repeatedly refused to disavow antisemitism. He missed eight games. He was later traded to the Dallas Mavericks after negotiations over a contract extension broke down.
Last month, the N.B.A. suspended Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant for eight games after he brandished a gun in an Instagram Live video after a game against the Denver Nuggets.