Even during his low moments, Devin Booker still has his fans in mind.
Booker was ejected at the end of his Phoenix Suns’ loss to the Denver Nuggets on Wednesday after picking up his second technical foul during the game. But the Suns guard was so chill about the ejection that he still signed an autograph on the way out:
What a thoughtful gesture from Booker. The second-year guard from Kentucky is averaging 20.2 points per game this season.
There are some times when NBA players hit the jackpot and find the rare nexus where talent, opportunity, and circumstance all intersect. You can have all the talent in the Western Hemisphere, but with no opportunity and poor circumstantial luck, you’re basically rookie-year D’Angelo Russell: imprisoned in a cell built entirely out of parting Kobe Bryant bricks and guarded by Byron Scott’s folded arms.
With ample opportunity but questionable talent and equally questionable circumstance, you’ll faceplant and find yourself in The Anthony Bennett Zone, forever haunted by The Ghost of No. 1 Overall Picks Past. Talent and circumstance without opportunity turns you into pre-Enes-Kanter-trade Rudy Gobert or worse, Darko Milicic: selected No. 2 overall by a championship-caliber Detroit Pistons team but perpetually thumb-tacked to the end of their bench and finding himself cursing the mothers of European referees just four years later.
Even talent and opportunity sans circumstance guarantees you nothing if, say, you’re drafted onto a Washington Wizards team run by a competitive maniac named Michael Jordan, who shatters your psyche and your confidence in yourself from the moment you enter the league (sorry, Kwame).
But for these five players, the stars will align in 2016-17, and they’ll find themselves in prime position to achieve what so many before them for whatever reason couldn’t: a full-fledged breakout year.
Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks
Performing in front of a packed crowd in Phoenix on Tuesday night, hip-hop deity Drake decided to throw the local fans a bone.
The Champagne Papi played the Talking Stick Resort Arena as the latest stop on his “Summer Sixteen Tour” with Future and did so while sporting a jersey of the Suns’ own Devin Booker.
Needless to say, Booker appreciated the love.
The connection between the two runs deep as Booker is a product of the University of Kentucky, Drizzy’s noted basketball program of choice.
For the 19-year-old guard, who will look to build on his rookie-year averages of 13.8 points per game, 2.5 rebounds per game, and 2.6 assists per game, it’s great to see that somebody is finally putting some respeck on his name.
Devin Booker is the sharpshooting young 2-guard the Phoenix Suns drafted No. 13 overall last summer. Devin Butler is the Notre Dame cornerback who was arrested over the weekend on preliminary felony charges of battery to law enforcement and resisting arrest. ESPN ran into a bit of trouble making that distinction on Saturday.
The Worldwide Leader in Sports had a rather embarrassing gaffe on an episode of SportsCenter when they used an image of Booker to accompany a story about Butler’s arrest.
Of course living in the era of social media, the goof would not go unnoticed and wound up going viral, even coming to the attention of Booker himself.
The network quickly issued an apology within the hour, which was read on the air by anchor Zubin Mehenti.
Apparently, 13.8 points per game in your first NBA season, All-Rookie First Team honors, and a personalized gift from The Black Mamba isn’t enough to garner some respect around these parts. Keep grinding, Book.
Image Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
H/T For The Win
Kobe Bryant’s retirement tour is the gift that just keeps on giving.
Suns rookie Devin Booker was the latest opposing shooting guard to receive a parting gift from The Black Mamba on Wednesday after Phoenix’s 119-107 over the Lakers, Bryant’s last game in Arizona.
Booker proudly showed off on Instagram the signed sneakers Bryant presented him with, complete with the inscription “Be Legendary.”
Cool stuff indeed for the 19-year-old guard who was just four days old when Bryant made his NBA debut in 1996. Nevertheless, Booker, who looks like arguably the best pure scorer to emerge from this year’s draft class, is already well on his way to taking Bryant’s advice to heart.
For Bryant, who has already gifted the likes of Klay Thompson and Tony Allen with some autographed goodies this season, he is ensuring that his imprint is felt amongst the next generation of great two-guards before he exits, and it’s truly awesome.
Image Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Since the injury to Eric Bledsoe, Suns rookie has taken on a much larger role in the offense and performed admirably. However, expanded responsibility or not, Booker is still in his first year in the NBA and was treated accordingly by some of the veterans on the team.
As seen above, Booker returned to his car to find it filled with packing peanuts, an oldie but goodie in the rookie prank book. The 19-year-old took it in stride though, which is pretty much all you can do. He even posted this video of the peanuts flying around inside of his car.
All things considered, having to clean up peanuts is somewhat mild when it comes to the aftermath of a rookie prank. Booker’s car could have been wrapped in foil or the wheels could have been gone.
Photo via: Twitter/Suns