Mikal Bridges works out for Knicks, calls Madison Square Garden 'a special place'
GREENBURGH, N.Y. — Mikal Bridges’ ties to the City of Brotherly Love run deep.
Bridges grew up in Philadelphia, won two national titles playing with nearby Villanova and his mother is a vice president of human resources for the company that owns the 76ers.
Bridges, however, did not grow up a 76ers fan. In fact, he said after working out for the Knicks at their practice facility Thursday that Madison Square Garden is one of his favorite places to play.
“The Garden is a special place,’’ the Villanova junior said. “I love the Garden. I had my best games at the Garden this year. I played really good at the Big East Tournament. The Garden — a lot of great things happened [for me] at the Garden. It’s beautiful. I love it.”
The Knicks, who have the No. 9 pick, are in desperate need of a small forward who can knock down threes and defend. Bridges, who averaged 17.7 points and shot 43.5 percent from three-point range, checks those boxes. Bridges, 21, also may be more developed than other players in the draft having spent multiple years in an elite college program.
Bridges has already worked out for the Bulls and Hornets, who have the No. 7 and No. 11 picks respectively.
Bridges has often been compared with Miles Bridges of Michigan State, whom according to a source will be coming in to work out for the Knicks on Saturday. Mikal seemed both amused and a little irritated by the fact the two Bridges are sometimes confused for one another.
“I know him,’’ Bridges said. “A lot of people get me mixed up with him. He’s a good player, but we’re two different people with two different games. Funny that people call me Miles by accident. I don’t look nothing like him. I’m not even a bit like him. I told him the other day if someone calls me Miles another time . . . I got to get on the back [of my jersey] MIK Bridges. It’s funny.”
Bridges said he is also planning to work out for the Cavaliers and 76ers before the June 21 draft. The Knicks, according to a source, will be bringing in Duke big man Wendell Carter Jr. for a workout Friday.
Notes & quotes: Keith Smart, Jud Buechler, Pat Sullivan and Royal Ivey have been added as assistant coaches under David Fizdale, the Knicks announced. Howard Eisley, the only holdover from former coach Jeff Hornacek’s staff, will remain with the organization, although his role has not yet been determined, according to a source.