The Nets eighth game this season — a home contest vs. the Clippers at Barclays Center on November 8 — will hopefully be another milestone for Mikal Bridges. As long as he’s healthy, Bridges will play his 400th consecutive regular season game. His current streak, at 392 games, is the longest in the NBA currently.
No doubt, the Nets will promote the date, again as long as Bridges is healthy. His durability is one of his great virtues. Beyond the streak, Bridges has led the NBA in games, minutes and mileage the last three seasons. No one had ever done that before. He also hasn’t missed a game since junior year in high school. That number is now approaching 600 after the FIBA World Cup. The NBA regular season streak, though, is the best known index of his durability. (He’s also played in all 39 post-season games.)
How does he feel about it? He doesn’t pay much attention to it, he said Monday, certainly not as much as the media does.
“The streak is never ... you guys are the ones that remind me of my streak,” he told the reporters present. “The world and media reminds me of my streak all the time. I don’t look at it like that. If I would’ve missed a game two years ago or a year ago I wouldn’t look at it like, ‘oh damn my streak’s over,’ you know ‘what if I don’t feel well maybe I won’t play today’ ... I’m always gonna play no matter what the situation is.”
Of course, the streak is more relevant to those who follow the Nets — reporters and fans alike — because of the lack of availability by previous main men on the team. Kevin Durant, for all his greatness, missed 177 games over the last four years, Kyrie Irving missed 151 due to suspensions and unexcused absences as well as injuries. Ben Simmons who sat out the entire 2021-22 season, then missed half of last season due to physical and mental issues, tallied 157. That’s a grand total of 485 games to Bridges’ 0.
Bridges acknowledges there is an element of good fortune in getting to where he is. He also credits Villanova coach Jay Wright with emphasizing the need to be available for games, practices, other team commitments.
“Obviously it’s a blessing but I don’t look into it. I just wanna play every single game I can. If I’m healthy enough to go out and play I’ll play. The streak is… it’s dope though. I’m happy you guys take a part of that and remind me sometimes.”
(Editor’s Note: In an earlier iteration of this post, information we relied on was inaccurate. There are a number of NBA players who have played more than 400 consecutive games, not just A.C. Green and Randy Smith.)