Mikal Bridges says he would be 'perfect fit' for Sixers after workout

Mikal Bridges says he would be 'perfect fit' for Sixers after workout

CAMDEN, N.J. — Mikal Bridges is a familiar face to the Sixers.

He won championships with the Villanova Wildcats, played high school ball locally at Great Valley High School, and his mother works in the Sixers' organization.

The team had a good idea of what it would see when the 6-foot-7, 210-pound Bridges participated in an individual workout Tuesday, and he performed to those expectations. 

“In terms of the way we play pace, space, defend, I think he checks a lot of those boxes,” Sixers vice president of player personnel Marc Eversley said. “His length, his quickness, his athleticism, his ability to shoot the ball, those are all things I thought he did, not only throughout his career, but he did today as well.”

After averaging 17.7 points, 5.3 rebounds and 1.9 assists last season as a junior, Bridges is a prospect for the Sixers’ No. 10 pick. Continuing his career as an NBA player close to home would have a special meaning for the 21-year-old. 

“When I was younger, my mom, my dad, my grandparents would always take me to games,” Bridges said. “It's really cool seeing what they've been doing and how well-coached they are and how hard they play, how talented they are. It would just be the perfect fit.” 

Even before he took the court at the Sixers’ training complex, it was easy for Bridges to envision himself fitting in with his hometown team. 

“They like to play tough and defense, defense first, and that's how I play,” Bridges said. “Also, you’ve got Ben [Simmons] and Joel [Embiid] … I feel like a person like me can correlate them just when Ben goes in ball screens or transition that I’m that guy you can find in the corner or that’s going to cut to the basket, just move without the ball well for them. The same with Embiid. Just create space for them.”

Last season, Bridges showcased his growing potential by increasing his three-point shooting from 39.3 percent to 43.5 percent. He’s not stopping there. Bridges notes ball-handling, playmaking and shooting off the bounce as his biggest improvements since the college season ended. 

Bridges’ workout included 100 three-point attempts and 1-on-1 work with Sixers coaches. His session was individualized at the request of his representation. 

“I thought he did a great job,” Eversley said. 

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Kobe Bryant tributes appear all across the globe from France to the Philippines to the Grammy Awards


Kobe Bryant tributes appear all across the globe from France to the Philippines to the Grammy Awards

The tragic news of the death of NBA legend Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna, and seven others was felt all across the world on Sunday.

From where Bryant played high school basketball right here in Philadelphia to the stage at the Grammy Awards in Los Angeles and elsewhere all the way across the world in France, Australia, and the Philippines, those who Kobe influenced found ways to honor his life and legacy in their own way.

One of the more unique and fitting tributes came to start Sunday night's game between the New Orleans Pelicans and Boston Celtics, when both teams held the ball and allowed the 24-second shot clock to expire in honor of No. 24. Chants of "Kobe! Kobe!" also broke out.

Neymar, one of the greatest soccer players in the world and a fellow Nike athlete, flashed Kobe's No. 24 after scoring a goal on Sunday in France and pointed to the sky instead of celebrating.

The Atlanta Hawks' Trae Young wore No. 8 to honor Kobe's other number to begin the game last night. He also went on a scoring tear and did something no NBA player had done since Kobe himself.

Tennis star Nick Kyrgios warmed up for his match at the Australian Open while wearing a Kobe jersey.

Kobe's influence was global as demonstrated by this mural with his daughter Gigi in Manila in the Phillipines.

The 62nd Grammy Awards took place as scheduled last night at the Staples Center in Los Angeles as artists and fans all mourned. Host Alicia Keys honored Kobe with the help of Philadelphia's Boyz II Men when they sang "It's So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday" during the ceremony.

There was even a makeshift tribute in unexpected places like the subway station for Bryant Park in New York.

Elsewhere in New York City, Madison Square Garden was lit in Lakers' purple and yellow last night.

The NFL Pro Bowlers, including the Eagles' Fletcher Cox, showed their Kobe love with a jab-step-fadeaway celebration during the game in Orlando, Florida.

Down in Miami they do a tribute as only Miami can.

And finally, where it all started for Kobe at Lower Merion to pay their respects to the greatest basketball player to ever walk through their doors.

Marc Jackson tearfully remembers his friend Kobe Bryant

Marc Jackson tearfully remembers his friend Kobe Bryant

NBC Sports Philadelphia's Marc Jackson knew Kobe Bryant during his early days in Philadelphia, when the two were working toward their grand NBA dreams.

On Sunday evening, after the sudden, tragic death of Bryant, 41, and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna in a helicopter crash (see story), Jackson discussed how he learned of Bryant's passing, and recounted some of his fondest memories from his time training with Bryant when they were kids.

"It's just a shame. It's a bad day. It's a very horrible day, not just in sports but in life," Jackson said. "Because this guy — this guy, from the very first moment I met him. He's a day off the plane from Italy, and we're working out with John Arnett, he was 12 at the time. I was 15, 16. We're working out at Temple, he's this 12-year-old lanky kid. We finished working out, it must've been about two, three hours, and afterwards he got ice on his knees. I said, 'What are you doing, getting ice on your knees?' He's like, 'I'm trying to have a long career.' He was 12 and I was 15, and I remember looking at him and laughing, like, 'That's interesting.' 

"And I'll never forget the time when he was getting ready to make a decision about whether he was going to college or the NBA. We were working out of Temple. He had this thing called 'Crown,' where he was trying to dunk on you, and he'd say he was going to 'Crown' you. That stuff just started going through my head.

"Now I'm just thinking about his wife and his children, and I'm thinking about his mother Pam, and I'm thinking about Coach Joe, who was one of my first coaches when I first started playing the game. I'm looking at that and thinking about that, and then I just have 1,100 emails, texts, and phone calls, in a matter of hours. It's just to say, he's a very important person."

You can listen to Jackson talk more about Bryant in the video above.