Hornets win season opener against Atlanta Hawks, 116-110

CHARLOTTE — The Charlotte Hornets kicked off their season Wednesday night with a win at home, 116-110.

The team has been intentional these past few years about building through the draft. That goes back to LaMelo Ball, Mark Williams, and now Brandon Miller.

But they’ve also welcomed back the hometown kid. The team just re-signed Ish Smith, formerly of Central Cabarrus High School.

Smith told Channel 9′s DaShawn Brown that, coming off a championship run with the Nuggets, he was set to retire. That was until the Hornets called.

“Oh yeah, I was done. I was done,” he said. “Because I played 13 years, given everything I had. I think if everybody would’ve thought back at what kind of career Ishmael Smith before I went to college -- then they started calling me Ish, because Americans are lazy, we give you nicknames -- Ish Smith would have this career -- I would take it and I would run with it.”

The Hornets face the Atlanta Hawks at the Spectrum Center at 7 p.m. Wednesday.

Controversy off the court

The Hornets start their season without forward Miles Bridges. He’s got 10 games left of a 30-game suspension that started last year. The NBA suspended him after he was charged and sentenced for domestic violence in 2022.

Earlier this month, Channel 9 learned Bridges is facing a new charge for violating a domestic violence protection order. Court documents show he threw pool balls at his ex-girlfriend’s car while his kids were inside.

Miles Bridges is one of several NBA players to face allegations of domestic violence over the last few years. NBA analyst Charles Barkley asked the league commissioner about the issue during Tuesday night’s broadcast.

“I’ve got a serious question for you. There’s a couple of disturbing incidents of domestic violence in the NBA right now. What are we doing to address that?....What are we as a league going to do about that?” Barkley asked.

“That’s an area where we as a league are not looking to compete against other leagues,” Commissioner Adam Silver said. “When you say forefront, I think all the leagues are trying to address this issue. If a guy does cross the line, the consequences are enormous.”

>> If you or someone you know is facing violence in a relationship, call the 24-hour domestic violence crisis hotline: 980-771-HOPE.

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