Mikal Bridges drops truth bomb on 'tough' Nets season

Jan 23, 2024; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Brooklyn Nets forward Mikal Bridges (1) controls the ball
Jan 23, 2024; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Brooklyn Nets forward Mikal Bridges (1) controls the ball / Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

54 games was all it took for the Brooklyn Nets to realize that 2023-24 would be their final season with Jacque Vaughn running the show on the sidelines, as the franchise relieved the 49-year-old of his duties earlier this week.

In his place, Sean Marks has elected to promote key assistant Kevin Ollie as the club's interim head coach, a move that seemingly has fans, pundits, and even players overtly excited.

Amid the chaos and underwhelming shortcomings that have come about during this rather tumultuous campaign, much attention has been drawn to the likes of Mikal Bridges, the club's 27-year-old centerpiece who has some speculating he could have a wandering eye and aspirations of jumping ship in the not-too-distant future and joining forces with Brooklyn's cross-river rival, the New York Knicks.

While fair and, frankly, fun to discuss the possibility, especially considering several of his closest friends in the association in Jalen Brunson and Josh Hart don the orange and blue threads, during a recent media session the forward seemed to quell any fears of him parting ways with the franchise anytime soon.

Mikal Bridges reassures fanbase he wants to stay with Nets long-term

"I wasn’t raised when things get tough to wanna leave and get out. I know a lot of people might think about different situations and teams, obviously I got my boys over in New York, so obviously everybody goes with that, but I was never the type of guy to ever put more on my shoulders and things get tough and it's time to cry out and get out... I'm here now and I wanna stay here. I'm going to keep grinding and getting to wherever we gotta get to to win. That's what I'm here for. I'm here to win."

Mikal Bridges

Currently playing through his first full season serving as the de facto top-option for the Nets, despite the lacking team success Bridges finds himself posting impressive individual averages of 21.7 points, 4.9 rebounds, and 3.7 assists while shooting 45.2 percent from the floor and 37.1 percent from distance.

With 28 games remaining on the docket, Brooklyn still has a rather realistic chance of finishing strong and thrusting themselves into the Play-In Tournament picture, as they are just three wins behind the 10-seeded Hawks in the race for the final slot.

Hopefully, the move to Ollie as headman will help rejuvenate this team ahead of an offseason that is expected to be quite active for the organization.