Devin Booker is that dude.
It’s been clear that he’s always been a great scorer in this league, but these playoffs have solidified him as one of those generational guys.
He has the toughness, grit, and competitive fire that separates the really good athletes from the all-time greats.
Even in the Western Conference Finals against the Clippers, when Booker didn’t shoot the ball well for most of the series, he still made plays when his team needed them. The screen he set at the end of Game 2 to free up Deandre Ayton with a tip dunk — while he had a broken nose — will forever live in Suns lore.
While the storyline will largely be on Chris Paul and his quest for his first ring in 16 years, Booker has a lot at stake in this NBA Finals as well. If he can be dominant and lead the Suns to a convincing series win over a Bucks team that has a hobbled MVP, then we might need to start having conversations about where he stands among the best guards in the game right now.
Some have already compared him to Kobe Bryant both in mentality and physical ability. Bryant is a big inspiration for Booker and his game.
If Bryant saw a team like Milwaukee literally limping into the NBA Finals, he would show no mercy and destroy them from the opening tip of Game 1. And that’s exactly what Booker needs to do when the ball gets thrown up in Phoenix tonight.
If he can prove his dominance in this series and take home a Finals MVP it will change the entire trajectory of his career. He’ll go from being a nice talent to a player that we have to recognize as a great. He can become the face of the league.
There’s a lot on the line for D. Book. Let’s see if he responds.