When players get traded, all the attention is on their fit with new teammates. But often lost in that discussion is the human side of suddenly having to leave tight-knit groups. Two days ago, the Mavs Reggie Bullock revealed that he and Dorian Finney-Smith spent the All-Star Break in Belize on a previously planned vacation.
“That’s my brother,” Bullock told the media in Dallas.
But what about the canine side? That’s a question Tania Ganguli of the New York Times examines. She discloses that Mikal Bridges’ dog, Sonny, and Suns teammate Cameron Payne’s dog, Uno, will have to make an adjustment after years of being best buddies in Phoenix.
When Mikal Bridges was traded from the Phoenix Suns to the Nets in early February, he had to join his new team without stopping at home in Arizona first.
So it fell to Cameron Payne, one of Bridges’s close friends on the Suns, to break the news to their dogs, who are best pals, or so their owners say. The moment called for compassion and candor, and Payne brought both...
“Man,” Payne recalled telling the dogs, “Uno’s staying, and, Sonny, I think you’re leaving.”
Bridges and Payne, she reports, lived in the same neighborhood, hung out in each other’s homes, talked everything from insoles to Instagram and yes, their dogs, Bridges yellow Lab and Payne’s French bulldog who had their own relationship. Now, the vagaries of the NBA would mean a whole new dynamic for Sonny and Uno as well as Bridges and Payne.
“I’m just going to miss just the funniness, the icebreaker making everything cool, always having a good time,” Payne told Ganguli of his relationship with Bridges. “Always smiling and stuff. Those type of things I’m going to miss. He always made every day at work happy.”
Bridges told the Times he misses his teammates in Phoenix, but is making new friends in Brooklyn.
A self-described “people person,” he had a lot of friends on the Suns — “I’m going to miss them so much,” he said. But he is making friends quickly on the Nets.
As for his dog, Bridges will have to wait and see if he can make friends in Brooklyn. One thing the two will have to get used to, however, is the weather.
It’s going to take some time.
- How a Trade Changed Everything for Two N.B.A. Players and Their Dogs - Tania Ganguli - New York Times