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Sarver: Booker as an All-Star validates step in right direction for Suns

Phoenix Suns owner Robert Sarver sits during the first half of the NBA game against the Golden State Warriors at Talking Stick Resort Arena on February 12, 2020 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Suns defeated the Warriors 112-106.(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

With the news coming down Thursday morning that Devin Booker was going to be an All-Star, Phoenix Suns owner Robert Sarver joined 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station to discuss the achievement.

“It’s a big step for us,” he told Burns & Gambo. “We need two of these All-Stars to compete at the highest level. I think Devin, his game’s been deserving of it. I thought he deserved it last year, I thought he definitely deserved it this year. His teammates and fellow players around the league voted him in, which to me is probably the most accurate way, of how your peers judge you.

“So I think it was well-deserved. And I think for us, it just validates a step in the right direction and now we get another one, and I’m hoping maybe Deandre (Ayton) will be that person next year or the year after.”

Booker was named an injury replacement for Portland’s Damian Lillard, who bowed out of the game Wednesday night after injuring his groin. While discussing it with the media, Lillard said he hoped someone like Booker that deserved it would be his replacement.

“What I told him is, the people you’re going to be playing with in that All-Star Game, they know you deserved it,” Sarver said. “They told you. And they said, ‘Hey, you get a chance, you’ve got to go.’ I know Draymond Green told him that after the game and he belongs there. I think that’s the most important part.”

Sarver likes what he has seen from his franchise’s job internally as of late to give young talents like Booker a place to grow their game.

“I think at this point — and I hear this from our players — that we have a very NBA professional environment, and our players feel good about coming to work every day and feel like they’re being taught, they’re being led in the right direction,” he said. “I think Monty’s done a good job establishing a good base culture and leadership. I think our assistant coaches connect very well with our players, and I think they’ve got us really trending in the right direction.”

Burns & Gambo

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