Quarantine forced Mikal Bridges to take his longest break from basketball

May 28, 2020, 8:15 PM | Updated: 8:34 pm
Phoenix Suns forward Mikal Bridges (25) drives during the second half of an NBA basketball game aga...

Phoenix Suns forward Mikal Bridges (25) drives during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Indiana Pacers, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York)

(AP Photo/Matt York)

Mikal Bridges is not the type to take much time away from playing basketball.

When the Phoenix Suns wing was asked at the beginning of last offseason if he had any big plans for trips, he said maybe one and a couple of weekends away to go back home on the east coast. But for anything beyond that, he laid it out that if his family and friends want to see him, they probably just need to come to Phoenix because preparing for the next season is already his priority.

So, as you can imagine, his quarantine during the COVID-19 pandemic was the longest amount of time he’s spent not around the sport.

“Never really for a month, that’s just so long,” he said on a video conference call Thursday.

Bridges said that like everyone else around the world, he changed and adapted to that lifestyle before getting back to working out.

“In the beginning, it was tough because, ‘How am I going to work out? Am I working out just to kind of still be in shape a little bit or I’m seriously working out because the season is coming back?'” he said. “It was just really tough.”

Despite that, you won’t be surprised that Bridges said he never got himself to be too “low” on a scale of staying in shape and now it’s about ramping things up with basketball activities at the Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum for voluntary workouts.

Outside of having practices, shootarounds and being around the team, it’s the same day-to-day routine for Bridges.

As to what he’s doing that routine for, well, he doesn’t know, like most of us.

Also like us, though, the players are seeing all the latest developments and aware of some potential contingencies.

Bridges said that Frank Kaminsky, the Suns’ player rep for the NBPA, has been keeping the team up to date on the latest calls with the league, and Bridges unprompted brought up the 70-game mark for regional TV contracts to kick in.

“At this point, I don’t really care what it is, as long as we can play again,” Bridges said of all the possibilities, noting it has been “confusing” to try and follow the latest.

He credited the league for the work they are doing, noting that if there was a way to safely return right now, they’d be doing it.

As far as how the Suns fit in, being six games out of a playoff spot, 13th in the Western Conference and 21st in the NBA standings, Bridges still thinks that whatever games the Suns can get are worth it, even if they aren’t under a play-in format for a potential playoff berth.

That’s opposed to what Portland Trail Blazers All-Star point guard Damian Lillard said Tuesday that he won’t play if there isn’t a chance for the postseason.

“I understand what he’s saying but it’s just a little bit different for us,” Bridges said. “Being a younger team, new coach, new staff — being together just helps. Even if we didn’t play.”

Empire of the Suns

Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker (1) reacts during the second half of an NBA basketball game against...
Kellan Olson

Phoenix Suns smash Nets, return home with 16-game winning streak intact

Take the Phoenix Suns' winning streak out of the equation and these past two days are still their most impressive in a young season thus far.
1 day ago
Phoenix Suns' Devin Booker (1) drives to the basket around New York Knicks' Alec Burks (18) during ...
Kellan Olson

Devin Booker shines in New York again, Suns emphatically win 15th straight vs. Knicks

The Phoenix Suns' winning streak reached 15 games and Devin Booker has really come along in the last two games of it.
2 days ago
Chris Paul #3 of the Houston Rockets arrives prior to Game Three of the Second Round of the 2019 NB...
Kellan Olson

Chris Paul’s HBCU Challenge at Footprint Center is PG’s latest effort to increase awareness

Phoenix Suns point guard Chris Paul helped bring together the Boost Mobile HBCU Challenge at Footprint Center on Sunday and Monday.
2 days ago
Phoenix Suns' Devin Booker (1) drives on Cleveland Cavaliers' Jarrett Allen (31) during the first h...
Kellan Olson

Phoenix Suns earn 14th straight win through fight against Cavaliers

The Phoenix Suns were due for a fight, and they sure got one on Wednesday night in their 14th straight win of the season.
4 days ago
Deandre Ayton #22 of the Phoenix Suns shoots over Drew Eubanks #14 of the San Antonio Spurs and Der...
Kellan Olson

Baker’s dozen: Deandre Ayton, bench propel Suns to win No. 13 in a row

The Phoenix Suns' win over the San Antonio Spurs on Monday made a solid case for why the team's now 13-game winning streak is so impressive.
6 days ago
Phoenix Suns center JaVale McGee (00) dunks against Denver Nuggets forward Jeff Green, left, during...
Kellan Olson

Phoenix Suns explode past shorthanded Nuggets, win streak hits a dozen

The Phoenix Suns didn't wait until the closing stretch of Sunday's game to put it away unlike their last couple of wins.
7 days ago
Quarantine forced Mikal Bridges to take his longest break from basketball