Mikal Bridges reveals why the Phoenix Suns didn't win title in 2021

The 2021 NBA Finals will forever evoke painful memories for the Phoenix Suns, and former player Mikal Bridges has revealed why they lost that series having led 2-0.

2021 NBA Finals - Game Six
2021 NBA Finals - Game Six / Pool/GettyImages

If you ask any Phoenix Suns fan to revisit the 2021 NBA Finals, you are sure to get a pained reaction from them. Boasting a roster that was led by Devin Booker and Chris Paul - while getting a center in Deandre Ayton playing to his full potential defensively - it looked like they were going to win the franchise's first championship.

Things looked even better, when the Suns raced into a 2-0 lead on the Bucks. We all know what happened from there, with the Bucks rattling off four straight victories and Giannis Antetokounmpo going for an insane 50 points in the clinching game. Not even two years later and Paul was gone, as well as fan favorite Mikal Bridges, with Kevin Durant and Bradley Beal now in The Valley.

Bridges was asked about those finals recently, and he gave a painfully honest answer as to why the Suns couldn't get over the hump.

Speaking on The Roommates Show with Jalen Brunson and Josh Hart of the New York Knicks, Bridges opened up on all manner of topics. Now with the Brooklyn Nets, he also spoke about being traded for Durant, who himself sees the threat to a win a championship a lot closer to home this season.

It was those 2021 Finals though, that felt like one that really got away for Bridges and the Suns.

"I remember going up 2-0. I thought we was good. 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."

Mikal Bridges

Bridges wasn't done there however, as he also admitted to doing the thing that so many do after going through a painful moment or loss in their lives. Something which tons of Suns fans are sure to have also done, as he would later admit;

"When we lost game six, because we should’ve won game six, see bro, my mind’s a little... when you lose stuff like that you try to let that memory get out your head. I haven’t rewatched no games. None of them."

Mikal Bridges

Suns fans look back on that team fondly, but that may be because we often wear rose-tinted glasses when it comes to talking about groups that never quite got over the hump. Still, would you rather have Bridges, Paul, Cameron Johnson and head coach Monty Williams, or else Durant, Bradley Beal, a couple of veteran players and a head coach in Frank Vogel?

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Current Suns owner Mat Ishbia saw an opportunity to really go for it shortly after buying the franchise in trading for Durant, and you could never accuse him of wasting what is not even Devin Booker's prime yet. They recently got the green light to have a G League team starting next season - the last in the NBA to do so - and also added Bradley Beal last summer.

But even though Booker probably got to the finals ahead of schedule - although point guard Paul certainly didn't - this will always feel like a missed opportunity. The Suns that season knocked LeBron James out of the postseason in the first round for the first time in his career in what was his 18th season, and The Valley had bought in massively. But it wasn't to be, and Bridges was honest with why.