Mikal Bridge and mom have dream NBA Draft scenario ruined by her employer, the Philadelphia 76ers

He‘s coming home! Philadelphia 76ers VP of human resources overwhelmed with joy as the team drafts her son – then 46 minutes later they trade him to Phoenix

According to Villanova product Mikal Bridges, it was ‘a blessing‘ when his hometown Philadelphia 76ers made him the 10th-overall pick of Thursday‘s Draft. 

Not only was he born in Philadelphia, but his own mother, Tyneeha Rivers, serves as the team‘s vice president of human resources.

‘It‘s amazing‘ Rivers exclaimed during an ESPN interview as her son sat in front of her wearing a 76ers baseball cap. ‘It‘s an experience I‘ll never forget. I‘m so excited he‘s coming home to be part of our Sixers family. It‘s amazing.‘

Then the team traded him to Phoenix.  

‘Suns are acquiring Mikal Bridges in a deal that will send [Zhaire] Smith to Sixers, league source tells ESPN,‘ read a Tweet from ESPN‘s Adrian Wojnarowski 46 minutes after Bridges was selected. ‘Suns will send 2021 first-round pick via Miami in deal too.‘ 

If you‘re wondering how Bridges feels about this crushing turn of events, he has yet to actually do an interview since he learned the news. In a cruel twist of fate, the 21-year-old, 6ft7 forward did one interview after another before word of the trade had circulated. 

What‘s worse, Bridges had been pegged at No. 10 in most mock drafts, making it seem all the more likely he would be staying in Eastern Pennsylvania. 

‘I didn‘t know where I was going to go,‘ a jubilant Bridges told reporters. ‘You people say that you‘re going to go to the Sixers, but it‘s just a lot of people just talking. But once I got that text and call that I‘m going, I was very excited for sure.‘

Although his smile had diminished, Bridges still seemed happy to be going to the Suns 

If there is a silver lining for Bridges, the 76ers‘ roster has more capable veterans than the Suns‘, so he should expect more playing time in Phoenix than he would have received in Philadelphia.  

Neither Rivers nor Bridges have spoken publicly about the trade, but 76ers coach and interim general manager Brett Brown attempted to explain the situation afterwards. 

Without uttering the name ‘LeBron James‘ – because NBA coaches and executives are forbidden from publicly discussing players under contract with other teams – Brown hinted that the trade was made in an attempt to accumulate assets that could later be used in a trade for a big star. 

And if the team could trade for such a player before free agency begins next month, then that might entice the Cleveland Cavaliers legend to choose Philadelphia over other suitors, like the Houston Rockets or Los Angeles Lakers, if and when he opts out of his current deal. 

‘Whether we have to go mobile, and as an example, go to Los Angeles, and deal with a family, and agent, a player, whether we can attract them to come here to the city of Philadelphia, the whole strategy of how we do that, the presentation of information, we‘ve been talking about that for a while,‘ Brown said Thursday night, specifically mentioning Los Angeles, where James lives in the off-season. 

‘I feel completely confident that we will not miss a beat now that the draft is done and we can focus when free agency kicks in July 1.‘ 

James, the four-time MVP coming off another NBA Finals defeat to the Golden State Warriors, is expected to either opt out of his current contract or use his leverage to force a trade to a contender in pursuit of his fourth title this summer. 

Although the NBA’s incoming class was the the centerpiece of the night, there was a considerable amount of talk surrounding the immediate future of LeBron James, who could leave the Cavaliers for a second time 

Disgruntled San Antonio Spurs star Kawhi Leonard is also rumored to be trying to force a trade, which is a good reason to stockpile assets, such as the first-round pick the 76ers acquired from Phoenix in the deal. 

And it wasn‘t just Brown who was trying to woo James to Philadelphia on Thursday night.   

A trio of private planes flew banners over the city in an ongoing effort to woo the international star to the 76ers. From left to right, the banners featured James‘s number, 23, a ‘plus‘ sign, a picture of the Liberty Bell, an ‘equals‘ sign, and a picture of a goat — a reference to the anagram G.O.A.T., which stands for ‘Greatest of All Time.‘

‘I think there‘s a chance,‘ said Alex Weinstein, a 76ers fan from Delaware who attended Thursday‘s draft. ‘I think he loves [Philadelphia‘s Rookie of the Year candidate] Ben Simmons and it‘s a great opportunity for him to possibly win another championship.‘

After struggling in recent seasons, the 76ers reached the second round of the Eastern Conference Playoffs, where they lost a seven-game series to the rival Boston Celtics – another potential destination for Leonard. 

Brown was only recently named the team‘s interim GM when Bryan Colangelo resigned earlier this month. 

Colangelo was more or less forced to quit the wake of an internal investigation that revealed ‘careless and in some instances reckless‘ sharing of sensitive team information across several anonymous Twitter accounts, not by the two-time NBA Executive of the year, but by his wife, Barbara Bottini.

The independent law firm that conducted the probe said evidence supported the conclusion that Bottini operated the four accounts it investigated. She even admitted to doing so, but only after allegedly attempting to delete evidence from her phone. 

Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP‘s review did not determine that Colangelo operated or was even aware of Twitter accounts that anonymously trashed some of his own players and fellow executives, and defended him against criticism from fans and the sports media.

‘It has become clear Bryan‘s relationship with our team and his ability to lead the 76ers moving forward has been compromised,‘ 76ers managing partner Joshua Harris said in a team statement. ‘Recognizing the detrimental impact this matter had on the organization, Colangelo offered his resignation.‘ 

The revelation of the five suspicious Twitter accounts came on May 29 in an article by .

Colangelo did admit that one of the five accounts in question was his, although that particular Twitter handle had never Tweeted. He previously denied ownership of another account, ‘Eric Jr.‘, which was ultimately claimed by his wife. 

Thursday‘s trade generated significant reaction on Twitter, but perhaps none more appropriate than Robert Littal, who wrote: Mikal Bridges‘ mom about to open 5 burner accounts of her own to curse out the Sixers.‘   

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