Brooklyn Nets wing Mikal Bridges has experienced a lot of winning during his basketball career, from capturing national titles in college to coming within two wins of a championship in the NBA.
But in his eyes, there’s nothing quite like playing for his country. Bridges and his Team USA teammates are gearing up for a run in the 2023 FIBA World Cup, and the 26-year-old is loving every second of it.
“Winning a championship for your school is amazing,” Bridges said. “It’s dope winning it for your city — obviously I didn’t win it, but like, winning an NBA championship for your city is amazing too. But I mean, playing for your country is a whole different level, and the time you have to get a group of guys who might not know each other and you have just six weeks or seven weeks to go win a title…man, it’s all just amazing. That’s why I love it.”
Bridges and players like Jaren Jackson Jr., Brandon Ingram, Tyrese Haliburton and Anthony Edwards — among many others — all share a common goal right now as they look to win a title for Team USA.
The tournament is set to begin later this month on Aug. 25 and will extend into September. For NBA players, taking part in the event certainly makes a typical NBA offseason look a little different, but it’s clearly worth it to someone like Bridges.
Team USA is considered the favorite to win the title this time around. Spain won the last one, which took place in 2019.
Bridges figures to play a key role for Team USA during its championship push. The dependable wing just had his best season at the NBA level, averaging 20.1 points, 4.4 rebounds and 3.3 assists per contest while appearing in a whopping 83 regular season games.
The former lottery pick is a good defender as well, something that will come in handy for Team USA. He earned All-Defensive First Team honors in the 2021-22 NBA season.
Once the FIBA World Cup is in the rearview, Bridges will turn his attention back to the NBA, but it’s clear that he’s currently focused on winning a title for his country. Nets fans will certainly be watching as he does his thing on the international stage.