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Miles Bridges ‘coming in hungrier’ next season after Kemba Walker’s departure

Hornets, Miles Bridges, Kemba Walker

Charlotte Hornets big man Miles Bridges says he’s “coming in hungrier” next season after three-time All-Star point guard Kemba Walker left for the Boston Celtics in free agency.

With Walker gone, Bridges knows he has to be more aggressive and productive on offense for the Hornets to compete on a nightly basis.

“I knew this summer was going to be a big one for me, coming off last year,” Bridges told Roderick Boone of The Athletic. “I’m definitely coming in hungrier than I was last year because Kemba isn’t here first of all. And I just want to be a better player for myself, too. I know the young guys are going to have to lead the team a little bit.

“We still have some veteran leadership in Marvin (Williams), Nic Batum and we just added Terry (Rozier). But we have to step up in a big way. I know that I’ve got to grind.”

As a rookie, Miles Bridges averaged 7.5 points, 4.0 rebounds and 1.2 assists in 80 regular-season games. The 21-year-old shot 46.4 percent from the field, 32.5 percent from beyond the arc and 75.3 percent from the free-throw line.

Bridges has to get in better shape. He was a little overweight last season. The Hornets are confident their high-flyer is taking the necessary steps this summer to become a more polished basketball player.