Mikal Bridges Reveals Shocking Details On Suns’ 2021 Finals Failure

Mikal Bridges, NBA Finals
Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

In their 56-year existence, the Phoenix Suns have never won an NBA championship. But for a minute in the summer of 2021, it looked like they were about to do just that.

They took a 2-0 series lead in that year’s NBA Finals over the Milwaukee Bucks, winning both of the first two games by double-digits. But Giannis Antetokounmpo and crew bore down afterward, winning the next four games and sending the Suns home empty-handed.

The easy answer to the question of why they lost that championship is that Antetokounmpo simply wanted a ring more than anyone else on the floor, including Chris Paul, the then-16-year-veteran who was also ringless. But according to Mikal Bridges, a key complementary player on that Phoenix team, he and his teammates simply didn’t take the Bucks seriously enough.

“I remember going up 2-0. I thought we was good,” Bridges said. “We ‘bout to win the chip, especially in the West, especially then, the West all had tough teams. East, we were like, ‘Whatever.’

“We go see Milwaukee, we’re over here like, ‘Pfft.’ I’m like, “It’s light. It’s the East. It’s Milwaukee. I know they got Giannis and obviously they got hoopers, but the West is tougher than the East. We’re like, ‘We good.’ Go up 2-0, we’re looking like, ‘Exactly. This is what we’ve been talking about. It’s the East, bruh. We’re about to win this. And then they went on four straight! I just couldn’t believe it.”

NBA NEWS & RUMORS: Mikal Bridges, Phoenix Suns, Milwaukee Bucks Updates

The Bucks had suffered heartbreaking playoff losses in both of the previous years, and by 2021, they had paid their dues and were ready to complete their unfinished business.

They won Game 3 easily, then pulled away in the final moments of Game 4 thanks to Antetokounmpo’s memorable blocked shot. After also taking Game 5, Milwaukee closed out the NBA title in Game 6 when the Greek Freak scored 50 points, grabbed 14 rebounds and rejected five shots.

The Suns have never really recovered from that loss. The following spring, they looked to be on their way back to the Western Conference Finals after claiming the top record in the West. But they blew 2-0 and 3-2 series leads over the Dallas Mavericks and collapsed at home in Game 7 as the Mavs clobbered them 123-90.

NBA NEWS & RUMORS: Mikal Bridges, Phoenix Suns, Milwaukee Bucks Updates

In a wild attempt to jump-start their championship hopes, they traded for Kevin Durant and Bradley Beal in a five-month span in 2023 while practically mortgaging their future. Phoenix gave up a whopping nine future first-round draft picks to get both stars, leaving it with little depth, not to mention lots of pressure to win it all as soon as possible.

Bridges was sent packing to the Brooklyn Nets in the deal last February that brought Phoenix Durant.

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