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

Frank Vogel, Chris Paul, Phoenix Suns...

Kevin Zimmerman

What does Frank Vogel’s hire tell us about how Suns build the roster?

Frank Vogel agreeing to become the Phoenix Suns' head coach gives us a North Star of sorts for how the team will begin constructing a roster.

2 days ago

Head Coach Frank Vogel of the Los Angeles Lakers coaches against the Denver Nuggets at Ball Arena o...

Kellan Olson

Frank Vogel sets tone for Suns’ makeover, steps toward 1st title

Hiring Frank Vogel is a solid yet fairly predictable and uninspiring direction from the Suns. That doesn't mean it's a bad thing.

2 days ago

General view of action between the Phoenix Mercury and the Chicago Sky during the second half of th...

Kellan Olson

Phoenix Suns, Mercury partner with city to pursue future All-Star games

The Phoenix Suns and Mercury are working directly with the city of Phoenix and other parties in a pursuit of future All-Star games.

10 days ago

Nikola Jokic, Bam Adebayo...

Kevin Zimmerman

A guide to being compelled by the likely Nuggets-Heat NBA Finals

It can be factual that the Denver Nuggets and Miami Heat will not draw as many viewers as would the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics.

10 days ago

Chris Paul...

Kellan Olson

Suns face complex avenues for potentially moving on from Chris Paul

The Phoenix Suns know what they want to get done this offseason with what will be some type of roster makeover.

12 days ago

Tyronn Lue, Clippers...

Kevin Zimmerman

Empire of the Suns: Who we like as a new Phoenix head coach

The pros and cons of the Monty Williams hire and who would fit best around him as the next Phoenix Suns head coach.

19 days ago

Quarantine forced Mikal Bridges to take his longest break from basketball