Adam Silver defends Miles Bridges' de facto 10-game suspension, says NBA had agreement for him to not play in 2022-23

MIAMI, FLORIDA - APRIL 05: Miles Bridges #0 of the Charlotte Hornets reacts against the Miami Heat during the first half at FTX Arena on April 05, 2022 in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

Warning: The following article contains graphic allegations of domestic violence.

Officially, Miles Bridges was suspended 30 games earlier this month after pleading no contest to a felony domestic violence charge.

Effectively, though, Bridges was only suspended 10 games, because while the NBA officially called it a 30-game suspension (and nearly every media outlet reported it as a 30-game suspension), he will only have to miss 10 games if he signs a contract with a team.

The league explained the unusually presented discipline by noting Bridges had missed the entire 2022-23 season after getting arrested the night before NBA free agency was slated to begin and apparently not finding any team to take him in for the rest of the season:

Following his arrest and plea, Mr. Bridges did not sign an NBA contract for the 2022-23 season, missing all 82 games. In recognition of that outcome, the NBA has deemed 20 games of the suspension to have been already served.

That decision proved to be controversial, so much so that NBA commissioner Adam Silver defended it in comments to The New York Times published Tuesday.

Silver reportedly claimed the league and Bridges had a "mutual agreement" for him to not play this season, with Silver apparently taking great care to not call such an agreement a suspension. He reportedly added that crediting Bridges with 20 games of time served "seemed like the right thing to do" because he missed the entire season.

The NBA also reportedly confirmed Bridges would still lose 30 games of pay, even if he only has to miss 10 games with his next NBA team.

If Miles Bridges agreed to not play this season, he didn't act like it

The revelation of a mutual agreement between Bridges and Silver's office sheds new light on his seemingly light punishment for injuring his wife in a way she claimed left her with "a fractured nose, wrist, torn eardrum, torn muscles in my neck from being choked until I went to sleep and a severe concussion," but it also makes some subsequent reports and behavior by Bridges perplexing.

For starters, there was a report of Bridges working toward a new deal with the Hornets in December after his domestic violence conviction. The Hornets denied the report more than a week later, which makes you wonder where that initial report comes from.

The Times noted that Bridges visited the Hornets during a game against the Los Angeles Lakers and was enthusiastically received by players on both teams.

And then there was a report from the Associated Press in February where Bridges said "I might be back in March."

None of this sounds like a guy who has accepted double secret probation from the NBA, but so much has apparently gone on behind closed doors with this situation that it's hard to judge anything. The NBA suspended Bridges for 30 games, but he will only miss 10 games, because he and the league decided he should miss 82 games months ago.

That is apparently what passes for clarity when dealing with domestic violence in Adam Silver's NBA.

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