CJ McCollum believes it’s much too early to call Devin Booker, the ‘next Kobe Bryant’ as he feels Booker should be able to grow more.
Anytime a young player in this league starts to blossom into a superstar, he gets compared to a past of current NBA great to put that young player’s ceiling and floor into perspective. Zion Williamson has been compared to Charles Barkley and Blake Griffin, Donovan Mitchell to Dwyane Wade, and perhaps most dominantly, Devin Booker to Kobe Bryant.
The similarities in their games cannot be refuted. Devin Booker is a master at the mid-range and can knock down the 3 at a decent clip. The one thing Kobe Bryant could do from beyond the arc was straight pull-up off the dribble. Booker is still working on this but has shown the ability to be able to work on this as well.
“Devin Booker is the next Kobe Bryant.”
– Stephen A. Smith
— Hoop Central (@TheHoopCentral) June 21, 2021
What’s most impressive however, are two things: D-Book’s footwork and his clutch factor. The latter of those is eerily reminiscent of Kobe as he continually gets into shots in the clutch in the most Kobe-esque way. More importantly, he knocks them down, just like the Black Mamba did.
Kobe Bryant-Devin Booker comparisons are a bit immature according to CJ McCollum.
On a recent episode of his ‘Pull-up’ podcast, CJ McCollum broke down how he felt about fans and media alike comparing Devin Booker to Kobe Bryant following this Playoff run the Phoenix Suns have been having.
“I’m a huge Devin Booker fan. But I think it’s a little premature to call him the next Kobe. I think you need to allow him to continue to solidify who he is, what he is because he is special in his own right and to compare him to Kobe is an unjust and unfair situation that you’re putting him in.”
McCollum does have a point here. People are too quick to compare a young player that shows flashes of greatness, to greatness. Comparing Ben Simmons to LeBron James clearly hasn’t been working as the pressure seems to have gotten to Simmons. Even prior to this era of players, young stars of the 90s were having to deal with Michael Jordan comparisons.
Grant Hill was hit with the label, “The next Michael Jordan, but better.” Hill would never come close to living up to this ‘approximation’ of his talent.
In all fairness however, Devin Booker has been dealing with the monumental expectations that have been put on his shoulders with ease. He’s dropping 30, 40 point bombs every other game and many forget that this is his first postseason since making it to the pros.