“Devin Booker, you are not going to beat me with my own move!”: When Kobe Bryant was hilariously frank after Suns star tried his trademark fadeaway shot on him

Achyuth Jayagopal
|Published 25/06/2022

Kobe Bryant was an NBA icon of the 2000s.

Bryant‘s iconic status and his signature moves set the tone for the next generation of basketball. Kobe spent all of his career in LA with the Lakers, winning 5 championships during his time there.

Kobe’s impact extended even beyond basketball, with his “Black Mamba” persona and signature shoe campaign with Nike. His cultural impact was extremely felt across the basketball world.

Also read: “I only notice the championship banners and think about adding more”: When Kobe Bryant revealed to James Corden why he doesn’t get distracted by a star-studded crowd

His style of play combined with his “Mamba Mentality” ensured that the next generation was hooked on him. What Michael Jordan was to Kobe’s generation, Kobe became for the next.

And one player who has always attributed Kobe as his inspiration in the sport is Devin Booker.

The Suns’ star plays Kobe’s same position and has often been alluded to as the closest to Kobe in the modern game.

Devin Booker was drafted by Phoenix in the 2015 draft. With Kobe retiring in 2016, the meetings between the two on the court were limited but memorable.

Kobe hilariously reminisced what he felt when Booker pulled up for a midrange fadeaway jumper a la Kobe on him.

What did Kobe have to say about Booker copying his move?

Kobe’s midrange mastery was awe-inspiring. In similar terms as to how Kobe went up against Michael Jordan, Book went against his idol and pulled his move on him.

Naturally, Bryant, a perennial All-Defensive selection did not let that fly.

Kobe recalls how he did the same with Michael Jordan and lauded Booker’s game. Kobe recalls how Booker went right for the fadeaway on him upon getting the ball for the first time in the game.

Bryant acknowledged Booker for his attitude and his fantastic ability. That definitely must have had Booker on cloud nine. It isn’t every day that you get appreciated by your hero in public.

While Booker didn’t drop the shot over Kobe, he’s developed his midrange game into a lethal weapon. With Kobe’s “Be Legendary” message inked on him, Booker would definitely want to emulate his icon.

Booker’s Suns have come close to the title on back-to-back occasions now. However, their failure calls for further improvements going ahead. Booker will look to carry his load better and be the Kobe for the Suns.

Therefore, while he may not have landed the shot on Kobe, it is safe to say that his icon embraced his talent and that confidence should be what drives Book forward. Not a lot of people can claim the same.

Also read: “Kobe Bryant told me to sacrifice what I wanted when dieting and working out”: Devin Booker cut fast-food out of his diet at the Lakers legend’s behest

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About the author
Achyuth Jayagopal

Achyuth Jayagopal

Achyuth Jayagopal is a creative writer with The Sportsrush. After previous freelance dabbles in the industry, Achyuth has authored over 300 pieces for TSR. Having followed the game of basketball for a considerable period, he pledges his allegiance to Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks. Beyond speaking his mind on all things basketball, Achyuth is a Sports and Gaming Lawyer who is an ardent Chelsea fan and takes a shine to the culinary world and travelling too.

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