Television Personality and ESPN analyst Stephen A Smith called Devin Booker the current era’s Kobe Bryant after his sensational Game one performance in the western conference finals
Devin Booker has been nothing short of sensational in the 2021 NBA Playoffs. The 24-year old recently notched his first career triple-double in the western conference finals. Booker became the first Suns player to score a 40-point triple-double since Charles Barkley in 1993.
The Suns defeated the Clippers in game one. Booker led the Suns, shooting 51.7% from the field and 42.9% from the 3-point line. The Suns had their star point guard and leader Chris Paul missing Game one due to COVID 19 health and safety protocols.
ESPN analyst Stephen A Smith described Booker as an assassin owing to his performance in Game One against the Clippers. Booker’s style of play bears a lot of resemblance to that of late Kobe Bryant, who has even mentored the Phoenix star.
“Devin Booker is the next Kobe Bryant. It is official.”
— First Take (@FirstTake) June 21, 2021
Booker, who is in the best phase of his career, never forgets to mention the late Lakers Legend during the important moments of his career. Most recently being when the Suns defeated the defending champions Lakers in the first round of the 2021 NBA Playoffs.
Booker had this to say post his victory at the Staples Center:
“ 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 2x NBA All-Star has averaged 29.0 PPG, 7.4 RPG, and 5.4 APG so far in the playoffs. Booker has been extremely efficient, shooting 49.1% from the field and 92.4% from the free-throw line.
The Similarities between Kobe Bryant and Devin Booker
There is no secret behind the fact that Booker has always looked up to Kobe Bryant for inspiration. This is visible in his game as well, from his elite scoring ability to his fadeaway shots. Booker manifests the Mamba mentality in his game.
Both Booker and Bryant are two of the seven players in NBA history who have scored more than 70-points in a single game. Kobe had, in many eyes what may be the greatest basketball performance ever when he scored 81-points against the Raptors in 2006.
Eleven years later Booker torched a 70-point performance at the TD Garden against the Boston Celtics. Bryant and Booker are regarded as one of the greatest shooting guards to walk the NBA hardwood. Both 6’6” guards have a great scoring ability.
Booker draws a very similar stat line to the late Lakers legend in his 6-year career so far. They both shot an identical 42% from the field in their rookie year. Both Booker and Bryant have averaged similar stats as far as the regular season is concerned. Booker has averaged 23.0 PPG so far in his 6 seasons, whereas Bryant averaged 25.0 in the 20 seasons he played for the NBA.
Though Booker still has a long way to go in his career, he is clearly on the way to be one of the greatest. The 2021 NBA Playoffs have seen him elevate his game to the next level.