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Why Mikal Bridges should adjust to Knicks role quickly

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Why Mikal Bridges should adjust to Knicks role quickly

It won’t take much adjusting for Mikal Bridges to get used to his new role with the Knicks.

It will be similar to the one he had at Villanova, with the Suns and even recently Team USA basketball.

If anything, being a go-to guy with the Nets was more out of the ordinary for the talented two-way wing.


Mikal Bridges talks with the media during his introductory press conference as a Knick.
Mikal Bridges talks with the media during his introductory press conference as a Knick. Charles Wenzelberg / New York Post

“I think it’s not going to be that hard honestly,” Bridges said this week, as he was introduced as the newest Knick. “I think it’s just knowing the brand we play here, and playing the right way is who I am. It’s like a natural thing. It’s kind of like going to [Team] USA, kind of the same thing where obviously, going to USA last year, the role’s going to change.”

The 6-foot-6 Bridges has excelled as a secondary offensive option from his time at Villanova until now, as someone who can score big when called upon, but wasn’t leaned on to be that guy every night.

On a Knicks team with Jalen Brunson, Julius Randle and OG Anunoby, he won’t be asked to do that.

Bridges will be one of several quality players for the contending Knicks.

“Just being ready,” he said, regarding his approach with his new team. “I adapt pretty fast. Listen, I just want to win. I know the things I’ve got to do to help us win and I’m excited.”

A part of that excitement is reuniting with his former Villanova teammates, Brunson, Josh Hart and Donte DiVincenzo.

Bridges watched them excel together from a distance and reach Game 7 of the Eastern Conference semifinals.

Now, he’s part of Knicksanova, as Post columnist Mike Vaccaro has dubbed them.


Mikal Bridges will have a similar role with the Knicks that he had with the USA team he played for in 2023.
Mikal Bridges will have a similar role with the Knicks that he had with the USA team he played for in 2023. Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Bridges was on both national championship teams with the Wildcats, in 2016 and 2018, and is hoping to win a title in the NBA with them now, too.

He sounded most excited to play with Brunson again.

When Brunson signed a four-year, $104 million with the Knicks two summers ago, some considered it an overpay.

The move was heavily criticized.

Bridges knew better, tweeting at the time: “Ya’ll must not know how cold JB really is lol.”

That looks smart now, as Brunson has developed into one of the top lead guards in the league.

“JB’s just who he is. … I know how much he works. I know how crazy his father is,” Bridges said, referring to Knicks assistant coach Rick Brunson. “I know what he’s capable of. So that was kind of simple for me. But yeah, honestly, just JB in general, Villanova years, playing in college, it’s kind of like second nature playing basketball with him.

“He plays the right way. I know how to play off of him. Excited to play with him and everybody on this team.”

Bridges’ arrival and Anunoby re-signing has given Knicks fans hope that the roster is now in place to be a legitimate title contender.

Bridges figures to mesh well here, not only because of how well he knows Brunson, Hart and DiVincenzo, but because he provides a skill set as a tenacious defender and strong offensive player that complements the roster.

Plus, he is an iron man, with a streak of 474 games played since he was drafted 10th overall by the Suns in 2010, which should endear Bridges to his new coach, Tom Thibodeau.

“Looking at the team last year, I think I fit in really well,” Bridges said. “Just, obviously, you’ve got two All-NBA guys, JB and Julius. How I play basketball, just a good brand of basketball. Know how to make winning plays, play the right way. So I think I fit in pretty well.”

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