“Be Legendary.“Six years ago, Kobe Bryant crossed the path of a young Devin Booker at Staples Center. Duel at the end of which he offered his shoes to the Suns kid, by writing this message on the pair of sneakers. An invitation to follow his path for him too “become legendary.“This interaction is forever etched in the memory of the man. He carries it with him every day, the two words tattooed on his forearm.
So when it comes to eliminating the Lakers, the Black Mamba franchise, Book couldn’t help but think about his mentor. “Honestly, I kept Kobe in mind. All of our conversations. Becoming legendary. I saw his number 8 and number 24 on the ceiling of Staples Center. It was shining. I know he was there tonight and I know he was proud.“Bryant would have many reasons to be proud of his colt. Because it is on the grounds of his idol, in the room of his greatest exploits, that the young star of Phoenix slammed 47 points to eliminate Los Angeles as of the first round of the playoffs.
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A performance worthy of the heir status to which he aspires and which he claims in a certain way. Becoming legendary means special performances in the most important moments of the season. And until now, Booker couldn’t claim the league’s top. Because despite his messy boxes – including a point at 71 units one evening of offensive orgy against the Celtics at the start of his career – the Michigan native scored mostly in a vacuum.
The Suns were not winning and seemed to be constantly rebuilding. A disappointing organization season after season, before experiencing a sudden heat wave in the bubble last year. Restored in confidence, the leaders tried everything for the whole while bringing in Chris Paul. A few months later, the Arizona team finished in second place in the Western Conference before taking out the defending champions in six innings.
Devin Booker, from stats player to decisive boss
Devin Booker had his first legendary moment there. “I worked so hard for it, I couldn’t walk away“, assures the person concerned. For his first playoffs, he assumed his role of boss. In particular on this determining Match 6, played in one of the most mythical forums of the league, against one of the most glorious franchises of US sport and one of the best players of all time.
The result is clear: victory with 47 pawns, 15 out of 22 on shots and 8 out of 10 on three-pointers. In addition to an attitude of victors. He behaved on the floor as if he was the best player of the series. And in the end, he was. Almost 30 points, 48% success, 42% behind the arc, more than 6 rebounds and 5 assists on average over the six games. A crack. With more crucial baskets to finish the hopes of the Lakers and LeBron James.
“I like everything about D-Book“, the King confessed after his Angelenos left the road.”We’ve had lots of conversations in the past. When you want to become legendary, you must not only advance your game but also grow as a man. I can tell you that he took advantage of all of our discussions to gain an advantage.“As a symbol – one more – James gave his autographed jersey to his opponent in the tunnels of Staples Center.
A form of handover from the veteran to the 24-year-old. One way to encourage him in this way and to follow in the footsteps of his elders. This match, this series, is a sacred revenge for the one who was mocked for the defeats of his team, criticized for his statistics considered empty. This is only the first step on his path to legend. The best is yet to come.
Devin Booker and Chris Paul (Phoenix Suns)
Credit: Getty Images
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NBA – Devin Booker, a legendary box and a great revenge for the heir of Kobe Bryant