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“Tough. Really tough”: Mikal Bridges reflects on mid-season trade from Phoenix to Brooklyn

Mikal touched on a few Suns-relevant topics in appearance on Paul George’s podcast.

Phoenix Suns v Brooklyn Nets Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images

In just a couple of weeks, we’ll reach the six-month milestone since Kevin Durant came to the Phoenix Suns and Mikal Bridges (among others) departed.

Still seemingly fresh in his mind, the former Sun joined LA Clippers’ forward Paul George on his podcast, Podcast P, and reflected on the pivotal moment in his career, the lead-up to it, and the aftermath.

Starting back in the summer, Bridges understood the nature of the situation, including how his value would add up to formulate the would-be trade: “We’re not dumb. Like if [KD] wanted to come here, I was going and Cam Johnson knew…it ain’t Book leaving, I don’t think it’s DA, I don’t think it’s CP.”

“Pack your bags, we’re going to Brooklyn,” Bridges joked with Johnson.

He was able to compartmentalize it and deal with the season in front of him once a trade didn’t materialize, but he cited Kyrie Irving’s trade request (February 3) as a point where it started weighing on him again, leaving Brooklyn in a tight spot ahead of a February 9 trade deadline.

The Suns were scheduled to play in Brooklyn before the deadline (February 7), and Irving was traded to the Dallas Mavericks the day before the game, stirring the pot even more. The Phoenix Suns would win close, 116-112, and Bridges scored 21 points on 44% shooting, outdoing Booker’s 19 points on 40% (we’ll get to this in a bit).

“This is my home,” Bridges joked with team employees in Brooklyn.

Personally, I’m not sure I’ve related to Bridges more than learning he copes through humor, just like me.

Reflecting further, it just blows my mind to look back at how fast it all happened. The summer prior felt like such a slog waiting for news everyday after Durant’s initial trade request, but it really unfolded over the span of less than a week in February.

Bridges touched on a few other Phoenix topics, including his roller-coaster draft night going from drafted top 10 by your hometown team to traded away by that team and flying cross-country. He said he was “pissed” all night, but we know he’s not the type to stay upset long.

He also touched on how he got “traded at the right time” because of the individual development he was able to get when most of Phoenix’s offensive options were injured for much of last regular season.

Pointing out Booker’s first game back as a big moment on that path, Bridges recounted people around him telling him, “Just because Book’s back, don’t stop what you’re doing.” He responded with “I can’t” and followed it up on the court with that 21-point game against Brooklyn, outscoring Booker albeit in 12 more minutes.

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