NBA

New Nets acquisition Mikal Bridges shares how he found out about Kevin Durant trade

By Sports Desk February 09, 2023

Mikal Bridges first heard he had been traded from the Phoenix Suns to the Brooklyn Nets during a FaceTime call with former team-mate Damion Lee.

Bridges had spent his entire five-season career in Phoenix, before the NBA All-Defensive First Team selection found himself the centrepiece of a trade for future Hall of Fame superstar Kevin Durant.

Along with Bridges, the Suns sent fellow promising young wing Cam Johnson and four unprotected first-round draft picks to the Nets in exchange for Durant, who had alerted Brooklyn prior to the season of his wish to be traded to Phoenix.

The trade did not eventuate when Durant asked for it, but things broke down quickly in the past week after Kyrie Irving forced his way to the Dallas Mavericks, leaving the Nets with a decision to make about the future of the franchise.

Despite Durant still having another three years on his contract, the Nets pulled the trigger, and by completing the move after midnight, the news already reached Bridges before he could be alerted by the Suns or his management.

"My boy Damion Lee, we were at the hotel and he FaceTimed me," Bridges told ESPN during the Nets' home game against the Chicago Bulls on Thursday. 

"You could tell he was upset, he was saying 'I'm sorry, I'm sorry about this and that' – I'm like 'what are you talking about?'

"He was like 'you haven't seen? You got traded to Brooklyn for KD'. I was like oh man, I went to Twitter and saw it, that's when I tweeted, and then my agent called me a couple of minutes later."

It is not the first time Bridges has been shocked by a trade. He was originally drafted 11th overall by the Philadelphia 76ers – his hometown team, where his mother also worked – before being traded minutes later on draft night to the Suns.

However, he said he knew it was a possibility this time, and he understands why the Suns would make the move.

"It's crazy, man. It's part of business, but life goes on," he said. "Coach Monty's always said 'you ain't get sent off to war, so you'll be alright'.

"I'm just excited for the opportunity. I kind of had a feeling since the summer, when KD wanted to go to the Suns, that I knew me and Cam were probably the two guys who would go.

"You kinda look at it, and yeah, I get it. I get it, man. He was one of my favourite players growing up, and I know how incredibly talented he is, so I get it."

Bridges said he is aiming to make his debut for the Nets on Saturday, when the 76ers come to town.

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