Cavs rookie Emoni Bates gets into back-and-forth with fan after publicly showing support for Miles Bridges

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David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

Cleveland Cavaliers forward Emoni Bates used social media to voice his support for Miles Bridges despite domestic violence charges that caused the Charlotte Hornets player to serve a 30-game suspension that recently ended.

“Lol bro gtfo thts my big brother !not hearing 💩 y’all taking about 💯,” wrote Bates in a now-deleted tweet.

Bates was reacting to a video of Bridges making a 3-pointer in overtime against the Boston Celtics on Monday. It helped the Hornets record a 121-118 victory.

It was the third NBA game for the 25-year-old since his suspension ended. The punishment was levied by the league in April of 2023 after he was charged in July of 2022. He pleaded no contest to a felony charge in November of 2022, with two other felony charges being dropped.

Bridges did not play in the league during the 2022-23 season, and the NBA counted 20 games of the 30-game suspension as served before this season began. Last month, he faced an arrest warrant related to an alleged protection order violation connected to the case.

The Michigan State University product played his first four NBA seasons for Charlotte and signed a qualifying offer with the team this past offseason. It is believed that the criminal charges may have cost him a lucrative contract in free agency in 2022.

He made his NBA return on Nov. 17 and is averaging 16.7 points per contest in his three games played this season.

A fellow Michigan native, Bates himself is no stranger to off-the-court controversy. Prior to playing for Eastern Michigan University, he served a suspension for felony gun charges that were later dropped thanks to a plea deal. It was part of a rocky collegiate career that likely lowered his stock entering the 2023 NBA Draft.

The Cavaliers selected him in the second round (No. 49 overall), and following the draft, he mentioned Bridges as one veteran taking him under his wing. Bates also mentioned Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant, who is currently serving a 25-game suspension after showing a firearm on social media.

Despite those connections, Bates is in good standing with the Cavs so far. The 19-year-old played well during Summer League action and has received praise from star teammate Donovan Mitchell.

Bates is back in the NBA after a brief stint in the G League but has been used sparingly off the bench by the Cavs since his return. It is uncertain what his role for the rest of the season may be, but he does seem to have a promising future.

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Mike is a veteran journalist who has covered the NBA for almost three decades. One of his favorite sports memories is the Cavaliers-Nets playoff series from 1993.