After college, Bridgeman was drafted as the eighth pick of the first round in the NBA draft by the Los Angeles Lakers who shortly after traded him to the Bucks to acquire superstar Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
Bridgeman played 10 seasons for the Bucks and two for the Los Angeles Clippers. He retired with a lifetime scoring average of 13.6 points per game. He remains the Bucks’ career leader in games played, and the team retired his No. 2 jersey in 1988.
Bridgeman tried to stay relevant to the real world while in the NBA, attending law school in the summers during the first 4 years of his career. Immediately after leaving the NBA, he purchased a Wendy' s franchise, and now owns over 160 Wendy's franchises (the 2nd most of any owner) as well as 124 Chili’s restaurants, all five of the Mark’s Feed Store Louisville locations, 11 Perkins Restaurant and Bakery stores and 21 Fazoli’s. Overall, he owns restaurants in 16 states.
Originally from East Chicago, Indiana, Bridgeman attended the University of Louisville, playing guard and forward for the basketball team while studying psychology. He accumulated 1,348 points (15.4 points per game) with 657 rebounds (7.5) and 233 assists (2.6) during three varsity seasons. He was also a member of the 1975 Final Four lineup.