Hornets Notes: Miller, Jordan, Smith, McGowens, Martin

Hornets forward Brandon Miller, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2023 draft, has been named in a federal wrongful death lawsuit filed by the family of Jamea Jonae Harris, per Chris Low of ESPN. Harris was shot and killed on January 15 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama; Miller attended the University of Alabama during his lone college season.

The others named in the lawsuit are former Alabama player Darius Miles and Michael Davis, both of whom are facing capital murder charges for Harris’ death.

Miller has faced scrutiny for his connection to the shooting. He brought former teammate Miles the gun that was used in the killing of Harris, but insisted that he didn’t know the weapon was in the car. He cooperated in the investigation and was not charged with a crime.

According to Low, the lawsuit alleges that Miles, Davis and Miller “knew or should have known that bringing a dangerous weapon to a dispute and discharging said weapon would likely result in harm.” The complaint also alleges that the “negligence or wantonness” of the three men led to Harris’ death.

Here’s more on the Hornets:

  • In an interview with Roderick Boone of The Charlotte Observer, Miller says his veteran teammates have been “welcoming” and he’s been working on building rapport with the Hornets since he was drafted. “Like I’ve said since day one when I came here, it’s really all about the bonds with everybody,” Miller said. “I feel like the stronger the bond, the better play on the court, just as far as knowing each other’s strengths and weaknesses. But getting to know each other off the court is kind of more important too, just to see what kind of person everybody is.”
  • Mike Vorkunov of The Athletic spoke to 12 current and former Hornets for an oral history of what it was like to play for Charlotte with Michael Jordan as the team’s majority owner. Jordan sold his majority stake over the summer, but remains a minority shareholder.
  • Veteran point guard Ish Smith, who was recently signed as a backup with Frank Ntilikina sidelined, says he was considering retirement before he received an unexpected call on Saturday, according to Boone of The Charlotte Observer. “I was driving up to a Wake Forest football game,” said Smith, a North Carolina native. “I got the phone call from (assistant general manager) Buzz (Peterson) and my agent was like, ‘Man, do you still want to play?’ And I was like, ‘Yeah. It’s home and it’s the perfect situation.’” As Boone writes, Smith worked out for Charlotte on Monday and was signed on Tuesday. The 35-year-old suggested this might be his last season. “I wasn’t going to any other state and I preferred to be here, and be home with family, friends … I was born and raised here and it will be a great story to close out here,” he said.
  • Wings Bryce McGowens (left ankle sprain) and Cody Martin (left knee soreness) will be sidelined for Wednesday’s season opener against Atlanta, the Hornets announced (via Twitter). It’s a discouraging start to 2023/24 for Martin, who only played seven games last season following knee surgery.
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