Suns’ Bridges, Smith add muscle to their arsenal for 2021-22 season

 Phoenix Suns' Mikal Bridges (25) looks for the basket against Los Angeles Lakers' Malik Monk (11) during the first half of their game at Footprint Center Oct, 6, 2021 in Phoenix.

Many basketball players have trouble gaining muscle mass. The game requires elite cardiovascular conditioning to handle constantly running up and down a 94-foot court. In turn, it’s harder for them to gain weight. 

Some players are burly physical specimens, such as LeBron James and Zion Williamson, who each have 6-foot-8 frames carrying 260 and 285 pounds, respectively.

That’s not in the genetic makeups of Phoenix Suns 6-foot-7 small forward Mikal Bridges and 6-foot-10 power forward/center Jalen Smith. Bridges and Smith, who have nicknames “Praying Mantis” and “Stix,” are listed as weighing 209 and 215 pounds.

At Suns Media Day last month, Bridges and Smith looked somewhat more chiseled and thicker in their arms and shoulders than last season.

They worked hard on weight training over the brief two-month offseason, adding a new element of strength to their arsenal that should allow them to initiate and accept more contact in games.

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