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Devin Booker on All-Star snub: ‘I guess I should be quiet about it’

Devin Booker #1 of the Phoenix Suns walks on the court during the first half of the NBA game against the Orlando Magic at Talking Stick Resort Arena on January 10, 2020 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Suns defeated the Magic 98-94. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

PHOENIX – After being passed over for the All-Star Game, Booker had a lot to say about the NBA Friday.

“It was always a goal of mine,” Booker said of the midseason competition. “It just re-proves the point that the NBA is different than the game that I fell in love with at the beginning – of all the best players in the All-Star Game – growing up, watching it. Now, it’s an entertainment-, drama-, political-field league.

“We’re a part of it now. It pays well, so I guess we should be quiet about it.”

When asked how to improve the All-Star selection process, Booker simply said, “put the best players in the game” regardless of position.

After Thursday’s vote was released, Suns coach Monty Williams and Booker spent some time talking.

“He knew I was disappointed,” Williams said. “I knew he was hurt, but his mindset was basically, ‘We got bigger fish to fry, let’s move forward’ and I’m going to take his lead on that.”

Now the Suns must put aside what has transpired and focus on an important opponent at home, the Oklahoma City Thunder, because Phoenix’s strength has been winning on the road. Among its biggest challenges has been Steven Adams and his offensive rebounding skills.

“I haven’t played Steven (Adams) in so long,” the Suns’ Deandre Ayton said. “I just know he’s one of the strongest dudes in the league. Great offensive rebounder. A dude who can protect the rim and he could put pressure on the rim as well on the offense. … That’s one of the top men in the league.

“It’s work. I got to come to work.”

Ayton has managed to stay consistent in the last 10 games, averaging 13.3 rebounds.

“Protecting the rim,” Ayton said on what he’s focusing on against Oklahoma City. “Being an ache on defense, bringing that energy, that battery for us. Leading by example and playing hard. It’s contagious being together, like how we do on the road.”

As many are still mourning the death of Kobe Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven others that lost their lives in a helicopter accident in Calabasas, California, the Suns plan to have a moment of silence before Friday’s tipoff.