Stephen A. Smith Believes Suns’ Devin Booker is Playing a Lot Like Kobe Bryant

Published 06/15/2021, 5:40 AM EDT
Jun 13, 2021; Denver, Colorado, USA; Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker (1) reacts after a play in the third quarter against the Denver Nuggets during game four in the second round of the 2021 NBA Playoffs at Ball Arena. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports | Courtesy: Reuters


Phoenix Suns have taken over a big chunk of the celebration in the 2021 playoffs, and the obvious credit for this goes to their star player Devin Booker who has been nothing less than phenomenal this season. From grasping a spot in the playoffs to leaping in the Western Conference finals, Booker is having a prodigious year.

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Along with Chris Paul on his side, Devin Booker is single-handedly averaging a noteworthy 28 points this postseason. Additionally, the hustle he brings on the court is a treat for any basketball fan to watch.

While counting Booker’s ongoing feats, many have spoken about his resemblance to the great Kobe Bryant. In a recent episode of NBA on TNT, famous analyst Stephen A. Smith claimed, “If you know Devin Booker, you know he loved Kobe Bryant… dearly, revered him. And he’s playing a lot like Kobe the last few weeks too.” This in itself is a tremendous compliment being attached to Devin Booker. But does it hold true?

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Devin Booker: A pure clutch man

Devin Booker and Kobe Bryant do share an old statistic. They are two out of three guards in NBA history to score over 70 points in a single game. But what is it that has recently stamped Booker’s name alongside the Black Mamba?

The answer is the current postseason. It has been a dominating streak for the 24-YO, having led his team to multiple victories. The other day, Booker knocked 47 points to send the defending champions, the Lakers, home. And now, the Suns swept the Denver Nuggets to clinch the conference finals spot, all thanks to Booker’s 34-point game.

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Kobe Bryant is Booker’s true role model

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As we ponder over these classic clutch performances, there exists a resounding similarity with Kobe Bryant. Playoffs always proved to be Kobe’s hottest time on the court. He was there when his team needed him the most. And that is exactly what Devin Booker is up to in this postseason. It seems like a fan-effect on Booker who has looked up to Kobe for years together as a child.

The Phoenix Suns are in a good spot at the moment. Booker and his partner Chris Paul have elevated their team as strong contenders to the season title. Along with crucial victories over competitive teams, Booker seems to be the messiah for the Suns. Being compared to Kobe Bryant early on in his career is a massive cherry on the cake. Do you agree with Stephen A. Smith’s bold statement?

WATCH THIS STORY: Reliving Kobe Bryant vs LeBron James 2008 Epic Duel

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Pavni Ahuja

444 articles

Pavni Ahuja is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports. Housing a keen interest in sports journalism, she is pursuing an undergraduate Journalism degree from Christ University. Pavni is an ardent fan of the NBA, with prior district-level playing experience in basketball.

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