Devin Booker’s new language advantage to Phoenix Suns backcourt?

Phoenix Suns, Kelly Oubre, Ricky Rubio, Devin Booker (Photo by Barry Gossage/NBAE via Getty Images)
Phoenix Suns, Kelly Oubre, Ricky Rubio, Devin Booker (Photo by Barry Gossage/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Devin Booker is learning a new language while in quarantine, and it could give an advantage to the Phoenix Suns starting backcourt

The Phoenix Suns main star, Devin Booker, is stuck inside like most of the rest of us these days.

While Booker is having his fair share of fun playing video games like Call of Duty with his downtime, he’s also getting ahead and learning new things with the additional time on his hands, too.

Speaking to Uproxx, Booker revealed that he has been learning some Spanish while stuck indoors due to coronavirus.

"“I actually have Spanish lessons today. [Learning] Spanish is one of my five-year goals that I want to get in touch with. So hopefully I can pick up on those things and get a little kickstart with them during this time,” Booker said to Uproxx."

Maybe quarantine has me going a little crazy and connecting some tenuous threads, but Booker learning a little Spanish could actually give the Suns starting backcourt a competitive edge.

In basketball, communication is everything. Discussing switches, shouting out plays, calling audibles on the fly, it’s all a part of the game, and teams that talk a lot often perform better than teams that don’t.

Listening is key, too. Picking up on opposing team’s signals, what plays are coming, and playing a little detective work on the fly can help a player get ahead on defensive reads or finding a hole on offense.

If your opponent can’t understand you, but your teammates can, that’s a huge advantage, and Booker’s Spaniard teammate Ricky Rubio is (obviously) fluent in Spanish.

If Booker gets good enough with his new language, Rubio could communicate with Booker in two different tongues, depending on how far along Booker gets in his lessons. It’ll probably be a while before he has a working understanding of using the language on the fly.

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Booker has already been highly complimentary of Rubio and how he’s helped his game progress this year. Even if they just use Spanish off the court (maybe Rubio could tutor Booker or give him some real-life practice with the language!), further strengthening their chemistry in any way whatsoever is a huge positive that will carry over to the floor.

Of course, there are always three other teammates on the court when Rubio and Booker play together. While they could communicate with each other in Spanish, it might cause a disconnect for the rest of the team in game situations.

So, you probably won’t see Booker and Rubio using a newly-found Spanish proficiency to their advantage too frequently, but it’s certainly something for Booker to keep in his back pocket. Even if used sparingly, it could be used to create diversions and confusion for the opposition.

Booker’s motivations to learn the language might be more personal than anything else, as Booker has talked about the desire to connect with his Hispanic heritage before.

Booker is keeping his coordination and reaction time in check by playing video games during the hiatus, too. He’s proven himself as one of the league’s top CoD players. While stuck inside, he’s doing quite a bit to keep his mind sharp. Will it gain him a competitive edge?

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