Devin Booker is officially an All-Star. It took a crazy path to make it happen, but it happened and Phoenix Suns fans couldn’t be happier for him.
When Devin Booker did not see his name on the All-Star roster, dark and gloomy clouds formed over the Valley of the Sun and didn’t move. Fast forward two weeks: the basketball gods have intervened to correct this injustice, parted the clouds with a beaming ray of sunshine, and awarded Devin Booker his much-deserved spot in the All-Star game, making him the first player on the Phoenix Suns to earn that honor since Steve Nash represented the team in 2012.
And how did the basketball deities part said clouds? By injuring a guy they have already blessed mightily, Damian Lillard.
During the Phoenix Suns win over the Golden State Warriors Wednesday night, news came out that after tweaking his groin during the Trail Blazer’s loss to the Memphis Grizzlies, Lillard would not be able to participate in the All-Star game.
But Dame didn’t stop his announcement there. He went on to suggest Devin Booker should replace him. That is some serious respect shown from a man who many believe has played like the best guard in the league this season, especially of late. Thankfully, his groin injury does not appear to be serious.
Whether it was based on Lillard’s suggestion or not, the NBA gave Booker the nod.
On top of the All-Star game, Booker has agreed to participate in the 3-point shooting contest once again, the same event he dominated in 2018.
All this happened right before Booker was prepared to go off the grid. He claimed to have a plane ready to take him to an undisclosed location for much of the All-Star break Wednesday morning to unplug and get away from it all for a while.
I hope he bought the travel insurance because that getaway just got cancelled.
Hopefully, this news injects some much-needed morale back into Booker’s veins. Between his initial All-Star snub, the Phoenix Suns’ spiraling out of playoff contention, the front office’s lack of getting him any help at the trade deadline, and having to watch the Timberwolves pair up two of his best friends, it hasn’t been a good month for Book.
No one would blame him if his frustration was near an all-time high.
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This All-Star surprise, however, should boost Booker’s adrenaline going into the last 27 games of the season.
This news also will boost Phoenix Suns fans spirits as well. After getting their hopes up for the first half of the year, injuries has reality have smacked them in the face in slow-motion over the last month or two.
Fans might not have had a private, undisclosed vacation destination to which to retreat, but it is safe to say the All-Star game TV ratings just spiked in the greater Phoenix area.
Some people might try to diminish this accomplishment because the only reason he made it is due to injury replacement. Don’t let these curmudgeons steal your joy.
History will not look back at Dame’s groin being the technicality that casts a shadow over Booker’s appearance. It will just show that Devin Booker is All-Star and that is awesome, no matter how it came about.
Speaking of injuries, it is great this happened this year because it may not happen again for a while with Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson expected to waltz back into their All-Star spots when they are healthy next year.
We can worry about that later though. For now, Devin Booker and fans can soak this up and enjoy it. I’ll say it again: Devin Booker is officially an All-Star.