Phoenix Suns: Devin Booker Locked in for Tokyo 2021 Summer Olympics

Phoenix Suns, Devin Booker (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Phoenix Suns, Devin Booker (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images) /

Even if he manages to get his hands on a Larry O’Brien trophy during the coming weeks, it still might not be enough to satisfy Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker, who just committed to play for Team USA during the 2021 Tokyo Summer Olympics. Set to begin July 23, well after the NBA season reaches its end, his new engagement poses no threat to his current stance with the Suns.

Additional NBA stars Damian Lillard, Jayson Tatum, Draymond Green, and Bradley Beal announced their plans to join the team earlier this week as well. Green joins as the only returning player from the Team USA’s 2016 squad, which won gold during the Rio Summer Games. Booker played for Team USA’s Select Team during that run, where he practiced and trained with the main team, giving him at least a whiff of international play.

During the regular season this year, Booker averaged 25.6 points, 4.2 rebounds, and 4.3 assists per game. Elevating his play under the playoff’s bright lights though, Booker now averages 27.9 points per game during this current playoff run for Phoenix, the third most amongst shooting guards.

Having helped his team become the first one to move forward into the Conference Finals, the Suns now own the second best odds to win the NBA Finals this season, slightly behind the injury-depleted Brooklyn Nets at +240. Given Team USA’s typical dominance during the Olympics and with these odds considered, Booker might want to start mapping out some extra in his trophy case over the next few weeks.

If Booker were to accomplish this feat, he would join Michael Jordon, Scottie Pippen, LeBron James, and Kyrie Irving as the only players to win an NBA Championship and Olympic gold during the same year.

Jordan and Pippen both won gold with the “Dream Team” after winning their ’92 championship with the Chicago Bulls. Pippen even pulled off the achievement twice, doing so four years later when the Bulls and Team USA both won again in ’96.

James won gold right after defeating the Oklahoma City Thunder during 2012 to earn his first NBA championship. His then-teammate Irving won with the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2016, and then again a few months later in Rio.

Amar’e Stoudemire and Shawn Marion were the last two Suns to represent Team USA, doing so during the 2004 Athens Summer Olympics. However, they disappointed their city, and their country for that matter by substantial measures, infamously winning only the Bronze medal.

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Although likely forgotten with the success enjoyed by Team USA’s 2008 “Redeem Team,” and all those after it, these Olympics still bring about an opportunity for the Suns to redeem themselves from a national standpoint by way of Booker. Amidst a title run though, that certainly belongs absent from Booker’s primary concerns, but nonetheless, remains something for him and Phoenix fans to look forward too later this summer.