Devin Booker is tired of getting double-teamed and it upsets people
Every NBA offseason since Devin Booker started breaking out, a section of NBA Twitter finds a way to start a dialogue around Phoenix Suns shooting guard, most of the time with negative connotations.
Whether it’s about if Booker is a “good player,” a “stat-padder,” or what have you, there’s a certain group of basketball-watching folks who Booker seems to rub the wrong way for whatever reason.
The tradition unlike any other continued Monday and Tuesday when a video of Booker at an open run surfaced.
Most of the game footage featuring the likes of Philadelphia 76ers star Ben Simmons and other NBA names is of Booker roasting Detroit Pistons guard Tony Snell.
A particular snippet of the video got traction due to Booker complaining about getting trapped and double-teamed in the corner.
“We not doubling in open gym,” Booker said. “I get that (expletive) all season … Let’s work on our game, bro.”
This could seemingly be looked at as amusing and we could move on.
But the “Pickup Basketball Is A Serious Matter Respect The Game Police” was having none of it once that clip was tweeted in enough places.
That’s weak as hell from Booker. That’s part of the game. If he’d perfected it he wouldn’t have thrown the ball away right there. Work on it.
Noah knows what’s up.
— Laker Film Room (@LakerFilmRoom) August 20, 2019
Now, like all Booker discourse in the offseason, the explanation here is both simple and logical.
Booker is at these open runs to get some competitive basketball in with top-tier talent. What he’s not trying to do is treat these games like there is something truly meaningful on the line, even with the competitive edge all these dudes have. There can be a middle ground between screwing around in these settings and treating it like a legitimate in-game simulation.
As Booker says in the video, the double-teaming is exactly what he deals with most of the season. The numbers back it up.
Now, the aforementioned police are claiming that Booker should use this “opportunity” to “get better” by passing out of those situations and “doing what’s best for his team.”
Does dribbling down the court and passing out of traps eight out of 10 times sound like a way he can actually get better? For a player who has said he already saw every defense in the book by the end of the 2016-17 season? The same player who was one of four players last season to average at least 25 points and six assists a game?
This matter also absolutely has to do with the fact that it’s mid-August, a rare lull in the NBA offseason where some cannot help themselves to #stoptweeting and instead insert themselves into one of the dumbest debates you’ll follow all year.
As The Athletic’s Ethan Strauss delicately puts it without, gasp, having to insert his opinion on the matter …
At least Booker was able to have some fun with it.