— Miles Bridges (@MilesBridges01) April 13, 2017
EAST LANSING - Michigan State has never had a basketball player quite like Miles Bridges, and now Bridges is about to give Michigan State a scene unlike anything the campus has ever witnessed.
Bridges released a tweet at 12:17 p.m. on Thursday inviting everyone and anyone to “meet me at Sparty tonight at 6 p.m.”
Bridges is expected to announce that he is forgoing a guaranteed million-dollar contract and NBA Lottery pick status in order to remain at Michigan State for his sophomore year.
In the Tweet, Bridges said: “I’ve got something to say. It’ NOT about me, it’s about US.”
Bridges averaged 16.9 points and 8.3 rebounds for Michigan State as a freshman this past season in carrying the Spartans to its 20th straight NCAA Tournament appearance.
Michigan State defeated Miami in the first round of the tournament and then ran out of steam in a loss to No. 1 seed Kansas in the second round.
Most, if not all, observers expected that game to be Bridges’ last in a Michigan State uniform. It was widely-known that Bridges wanted to stay in college for one more year but no one thought he would be able to resist the immediate automatic riches of the NBA and generational-changing money in order to return to the team and school he loves.
After the Kansas game, Tom Izzo said the decision would refreshingly be up to Bridges and his mother, and there would be few, if any, outside influences straining the situation.
When word leaked on Wednesday that Bridges had canceled meetings with agents, it was a clear signal that Bridges planned to come back for his sophomore year. And now, the signal has bounced around the world via computers and mobile devices as Spartan fans have consumed and shared Bridges' tweet in celebratory fashion. Tonight, they will celebrate with him at the site of the university's iconic statue.
Izzo acknowledged that it would be difficult for Bridges to turn down the NBA at this time, but the 22nd-year coach cautioned that Bridges “is a weirdo,” using the term affectionately in that Bridges does not see the world and his place in it quite like the normal human being.
From the time Bridges became a Spartan, Izzo has gushed over the Flint native’s heart and character, saying Bridges is a rare “blue collar superstar.”
MSU fans fell in love with his powerful, high-flying dunks, the likes of which haven’t been performed in a Spartan uniform. He fell in love with the program and his teammates, perhaps never personified more than the time he welled up in tears while consoling senior Eron Harris when Harris went down with a season-ending knee injury at Purdue in late February.
Now, that heart is apparently bringing him back for one more tour of duty with the Spartans. Sources say Bridges is putting together an insurance policy to protect his future in the event of a career-altering or career-ending injury, but no insurance policy could match what he potentially could make with a pair of long-term deals in the NBA, the first of which could have been his in a matter of weeks. But Bridges is willing to put that on hold.
Bridges’ mother said publicly that she wanted him to go to the NBA but would leave the decision up to him. Sources tell SpartanMag.com that Izzo advised Bridges to leave his program as well, but now it appears that Bridges will defy the two closest confidantes of his life in order to embrace Michigan State like no one has ever embraced the 162-year-old land grant university.
SpartanMag.com will have coverage of Bridges’ Meeting at Sparty this evening.