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Devin Booker’s All-Star fortunes, weekend plans take sudden turn

(AP Photo/Matt York)

PHOENIX — On Wednesday morning, Devin Booker sounded like a man who, at least mentally, had his weekend planned.

“Just relaxing,” he said after shootaround of his plans for the All-Star break. “Getting away from basketball, spending some time with my family and friends. Unsure of our destination yet but might just disappear off the grid for a little bit.”

The seven days would give Booker a chance to escape everything after an awful couple of weeks that included the death of Kobe Bryant and being snubbed from the All-Star Game. Booker mentioned that it’s a good time for everyone in the league to get a little bit of a break and he sounded like a guy ready to put his phone on airplane mode for a few days.

But, Booker is the guy himself who constantly says, “It’s the NBA and anything can happen,” and as an example of how fast things can change, 12 hours later after that shootaround he’s likely an All-Star.

All-Star guard Damian Lillard hurt his groin for the Portland Trail Blazers the same night, bowed out of the All-Star Game and said Booker should be under consideration.

As that happened, Booker played like an All-Star in a 112-106 win over the Golden State Warriors.

Booker had 27 points, five rebounds, eight assists, two steals and a block. It was one of those nights where he needed to carry the team, and he did. Booker was the only starter with a positive plus-minus and was plus-17.

After the game, he was asked first on Fox Sports Arizona’s postgame show if he would take the spot, and he said “probably.”

With some time to think about it, though, about 30 minutes later in his traditional media scrum, he had taken the time to prepare himself for the questions he knew were coming.

“We’ll cross that bridge when we get there,” Booker said when asked if he would accept the invite, repeating himself from an earlier answer when asked about Lillard giving him a shoutout.

“I’ve always said respect from my peers is my main focus and goal in this NBA,” Booker said.

As for his plans the rest of the night and the coming morning, he channeled the energy and vibes of Suns fans — and Valley sports fans as a whole for that matter — by saying he’s not going to count his chickens until they hatch.

“That’s on everybody else. I don’t get my hopes up,” he said. “Imma go home with my family, sit down.

“(The) plan is to take off tomorrow morning to my off-the-grid destination, so we’ll see.”

When asked if he will indeed go off the grid knowing there could be a very important phone call on its way, well, come on, you know what he said.

“We’ll cross that bridge when we get there.”


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