Devin Booker stepped up for the Suns as they played their first conference finals since 2010. The guard registered the maiden triple-double of his career in the game which has led to ESPN’s Stephen A Smith drawing comparisons to the legendary Kobe Bryant.
Booker has been running the court for the franchise in their deep playoff run where they have managed to overcome defending champions Los Angeles Lakers and Denver Nuggets.
He became the first Suns player since Steve Nash to record a triple double in conference finals. Moreover, his 40-point triple-double was the first for the franchise since Charles Barkley recorded it in 1993.
The responsibility was huge on Booker due to the absence of veteran Chris Paul, who has been sidelined due to COVID 19 health and safety protocols. Booker was lethal on the court, shooting 51.7% from the field and 42.9% from the 3-point line.
Stephen A Smith lavishes praise on Devin Booker
Following the events of Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals, Smith branded Booker as an assassin and labelled him as the next Kobe Bryant going forward.
“Devin Booker is the next Kobe Bryant. I’m saying it on national television. Devin Booker is the next Kobe Bryant. It is official,”
“His first playoff appearance and the brother is the No.1 option, averaging over 28, dropped 40 and a triple-double in the first game of the conference finals. And just the way he plays, he’s an assassin. And guess what? This Clippers team, you need Kawhi back to knock that kid off.”
Booker was mentored by the late Lakers legend and has drew inspiration from his style of play. The fadeaways and lethal shooting ability on the court afre enough to draw a comparison and to solidify the stance, the statistics are matching up as well.
Following their series-winning victory at the Staples Center in Game 6 earlier, the player revealed that he was thinking about his mentor leading up to the match.
“Honestly, I was thinking about Kob and the conversations that we had kinda about what we just went through, the postseason and being legendary and taking the steps to get there,”.
The Suns have been invincible since their Game 3 defeat to the Lakers. They are now on a commanding 8-0 run in the playoffs.