Suns’ Devin Booker gets 100% on harsh reality of winning in NBA

Devin Booker joined JJ Redick to talk about winning with the Suns and how it has affected his image in the NBA.

Devin Booker knows what it’s like to be on the worst team in the NBA with the Phoenix Suns. In the last three years, his Suns have become the winningest team in basketball.

Booker, who this season is one of two players (Luka Doncic) to be top-six in points (27.8) and assists (6.8) per game, has gone from an unnoticed star to one of the NBA’s best players. He told JJ Redick on “The Old Man & The Three” podcast there are parameters he deals with from media.

“Nobody cares about you when you score 30 and lose,” said Booker, who had three Suns teams finish at the bottom of the West during his young career. “Nobody hated me or disliked me then. That comes when you start winning games.”

To some, Booker is a top-10 player in the world. Those do not argue in that manner point to Booker’s shortcomings in Game 6 of the 2021 NBA Finals versus the Milwaukee Bucks and Game 7 of the 2022 Western Conference semifinals against the Dallas Mavericks, when his Suns were eliminated. Booker had 19 and 11 points, respectively, in such games, creating a narrative he is poor in elimination games.

Booker is also a playoff historic performer. He in the 2021 playoffs scored the most points ever by a player in their first-ever playoff run (604). He also became the seventh player in league history to score back-to-back 40-point games in the Finals.

Last postseason, Booker had a nine-game stretch versus the LA Clippers and Denver Nuggets, who won the NBA championship, in which he had 311 points on 70% true shooting, which is the best since Michael Jordan accomplished that in 1990.

Booker is in his ninth season. The Suns are now with superstar forward Kevin Durant, who the former Kentucky standout called his “favorite player,” while growing up, three-time All-Star Bradley Beal and coach Frank Vogel, an NBA champion with LeBron James and the LA Lakers in 2020.

Booker, if he wins a championship, would receive more credit from the NBA audience. Until then, he will be despised by some.

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About the Author

Trevor Booth is a beat writer covering the Phoenix Suns, in addition to working as an associate editor. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in sports journalism from Arizona State University in 2021. Booth is passionate about his faith, video games, sports with friends and making the most of his time with his girlfriend when he’s not working.

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