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Wednesday, July 10, 2024

Mikal Bridges says he thought Knicks would draft him in 2018: ‘I used to be like, OK, I am about to go play at MSG’

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At his introductory press convention on Tuesday, Mikal Bridges instructed reporters it was “surreal” to reunite together with his faculty teammates Jalen Brunson, Josh Hart and Donte DiVincenzo on the New York Knicks. Main as much as the blockbuster commerce between the Knicks and the Brooklyn Nets, Bridges didn’t suppose such a deal would really occur, he stated. 

He did, nevertheless, think about himself in a Knicks uniform earlier in his profession.

“I assumed I used to be going to be right here in 2018,” Bridges stated.

New York had the No. 9 choose in that draft, and Bridges labored out for the crew. There was hypothesis that he may wind up there, and he known as it a “second house” throughout a pre-draft media session. 4 years later, in an look on the “Run Your Race” podcast, Bridges stated he “wished to be in New York” and thought it was going to occur.

On Tuesday, Bridges stated he thought he’d both be taken by the Knicks or the Philadelphia 76ers, however, since Philadelphia was selecting tenth, New York had the primary shot.

“I used to be on the draft and I used to be like, ‘OK, I am about to go play at MSG,'” he stated. “It is that point. I adore it there.”

Within the inexperienced room at Barclays Heart, Bridges waited to listen to his identify known as. As an alternative, with the ninth choose, the Knicks chosen Kevin Knox.

“I actually thought I used to be going,” he stated. “You sort of know once you’re on the inexperienced room on the draft, you sort of know when the cameras are following you or your brokers may get the decision just a little bit earlier than. They usually have been up, and I simply checked out them they usually have been like — they sort of simply shook their head. And I used to be like, ‘OK.'”

The Sixers chosen Bridges tenth, however then traded him to the Phoenix Suns. Within the years since then, Bridges has made New York and Philadelphia — and several other groups that picked in entrance of them — remorse passing on him. And now that he is lastly going to play for the Knicks at MSG, Bridges stated he is excited to “see my man Spike courtside.” After six seasons within the league, the soon-to-be 28-year-old wing is happy with how issues have labored out.

“I like all the things concerning the crew,” Bridges stated. “Thibs and the group, MSG, all that. The historical past. I feel it sort of brings me again to — I have been within the league for some time and … being older, you have been round so much. I really feel like now, coming right here, it makes me really feel like a younger child once more, with all of the reminiscences. If you suppose basketball when [you’re] younger, you concentrate on the old fashioned, like, it is all the time the Knicks. That is what you all the time take into consideration.”

Bridges, the NBA’s preeminent iron man, stated he sees “all of the jokes” about all of the minutes he’ll play beneath coach Tom Thibodeau. He didn’t sound nervous about it.

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“I see all of it,” he stated. “However, I imply, it is nice. I do know Thibs is a superb coach. I feel one factor: Who does not need to play? Who does not need to play on a regular basis? It is simply who he’s and [what] he embodies and the way structured he’s. That is the place I got here from. That is highschool, faculty, with coach Monty [Williams] as nicely. These guys, I match for that. I do know all people say all them jokes about Thibs and stuff, however I am like, ‘Y’all should not have been watching me in Phoenix as a result of Coach Monty would play me 48 minutes.’ 

“And the person performed me 50-something minutes towards De’Aaron Fox in Sacramento, and you understand how quick they play. And I used to be sick. I used to be sick as a bat, actually on the market, could not breathe, and I am taking part in 50-something minutes. I used to be on the frickin’ chair after we gained, like laid out. I do not suppose Monty knew I used to be sick both. However he was identical to, ‘Take a look at him, that is what we do.’ I am like, ‘Let’s simply get on this rattling aircraft, please.'”

Bridges stated it was “unhappy” to depart Brooklyn and that he did not push for a commerce. About 24 hours earlier, Nets common supervisor Sean Marks had strongly denied that Bridges had requested out

“Sean stated all the things,” Bridges stated. “I sort of even tried to say as a lot as I may once I was tweeting about issues and my Instagram submit. However no. It is simply not how I’m. It is simply not. That is what it’s. So I am joyful Sean had an opportunity to sort of inform all people. However it doesn’t matter what you say, they ain’t going to imagine it anyway.”

Bridges discovered concerning the commerce, he stated, when he was visiting Dallas. He’d been figuring out together with his then-teammate, Dorian Finney-Smith, and, when the deal went down, he was hanging out with Memphis Grizzlies guard Desmond Bane.

“We was chilling by his little lake home,” Bridges stated. “Simply chilling together with his household and stuff. After which the information broke. It was fairly [late], I feel it was darkish outdoors or one thing. But it surely was loopy. It was wild. He is simply over there, like, screaming from far, like, ‘Yo, did you see?’ I am like, ‘That is loopy.’ So it was cool.”

Shortly thereafter, he was on FaceTime with Brunson, Hart and DiVincenzo, his new/outdated teammates.  “Everyone was simply geeked up,” Bridges stated. Now that he is formally a member of Nova Knicks, he simply desires to get to work.

“Hate that it is the summer time,” Briges stated, “since you gotta wait a very long time to play.”

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