Mamba Style of Play
Besides having a similar state of mind, The Cactus Mamba and Black Mamba both share many other similarities in their style of play.
You live by the shot, you die by the shot, and Devin Booker can certainly shoot as good as the best of them in the NBA. Book has the 6th most 30 point games this season with 16, and is 3rd amongst guards in field goal percentage this year.
At the same ripe age of 23, the Black Mamba had 18 30+ point games. Both have had a 70+ point game, with Devin’s coming at the age of 20, and Kobe’s 81 point performance manifesting in his prime age of 27.
The Cactus Mamba is averaging 22.0 PPG, 3.5 RPG and 4.5 APG in 311 games since being drafted. through the Mamba’s first five years, he played 334 games and averaged 18.5 PPG, 4.4 RPG and 3.4 APG. The averages are very close – with the differentiating factor being that Kobe had his first ring at 23.
Now, I am not here to say Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton are the second coming of Kobe and Shaq, but I am here to say that they have been playing VERY WELL together this season; the Suns have a 7-4 record when both are on the court. Booker is averaging 31 points and 7 assists when Ayton is in the lineup, and Ayton is averaging 17.5 and 12.3 in the 11 games they’ve shared this year.
Obviously, Kobe and Shaq won three rings together, and Booker and Ayton haven’t even seen a championship ring other than in pictures – but they are both young and have a lot of time to prove themselves in Phoenix.
Devin’s scoring ability is unparalleled. He can shoot from anywhere on the court. Turn around jumpers? No problem. Layups and Dunks with contact? You got it. Pull-up mid-range game? It’s his. But there is always two sides to the story, literally. It’s a two-way game and defense wins championships.
Kobe Bryant never backed down from a challenge and he was always up for guarding the best player on the court. The other side of the floor has been a common talking point for Booker haters in previous years, but he has stepped up his defense to start the 2019-2020 season.
It’s very clear that the Mamba from the desert and the Black Mamba have very similar playing styles and mentalities. The tangibility of these characteristics were proven in Kobe’s career – winning 5 rings in his 20 year tenure among several other accolades.
Booker has a lot of game left, and a lot of potential and the Phoenix Suns are a team to watch this year. If they can continue to play at a high level, the possibilities are endless in the Valley of the Sun.