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ESPN’s Kendrick Perkins ‘furious’ over Devin Booker All-Star snub

Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker (1) drives to the basket in front of New Orleans Pelicans guard Josh Hart (3) and guard Kira Lewis Jr. (13) during the second half of an NBA basketball game in New Orleans, Friday, Feb. 19, 2021. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

When news broke regarding the Western Conference All-Star reserves, there was some noticeable frustration regarding Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker being left out of the lineup.

Los Angeles’ LeBron James was quick with the Twitter fingers, calling Booker the most disrespected player in the NBA, while countless others around the league took to social media to voice their displeasure with the guard’s All-Star snub.

That included ESPN analyst and 14-year NBA vet Kendrick Perkins, who doubled down on the ridiculousness that Booker isn’t an All-Star.

“I feel the same way you guys feel, I am furious,” Perkins told Arizona Sports’ Doug & Wolf on Wednesday. “Right now, if you are a Phoenix Suns fan or if you’re a Devin Booker fan you should be livid.

“Devin Booker is playing some of the best basketball of his career right now. Under control, shooting 50% from the field, averaging almost 25 points per game and he’s doing it in the system. He’s not forcing anything. Here it is, this is the second year in a row in my opinion that he has been snubbed.”

The biggest knock on Booker in past seasons has been more on the Suns’ overall record rather than the guard’s individual performance. But with the team sitting at 20-10 and fourth in the Western Conference, that excuse is no longer valid. And while Booker’s numbers are a smidge lower from the season prior, the guard is still averaging 24.7 points, 3.8 rebound and 4.3 assists in 34.5 minutes per game.

“This is the problem I have with the All-Star vote. The goal posts get moved every single year. … One minute we’re hearing, ‘Oh, the problem is that they weren’t winning, that’s why we didn’t vote him in,'” Perkins said. “Right now, the Phoenix Suns are a top-5 team in the Western Conference and he still don’t get voted in?”

“We’ve got to start having people in these rooms when the votes are coming in to make sure they’re not being tampered with, because there’s no reason, no way that no one can tell me that Devin Booker shouldn’t be in over Zion [Williamson],” Perkins added. “Zion has been playing phenomenal basketball … but they haven’t been winning. I think that’s the thing that irks my nerves more than anything is that Devin Booker has sacrificed a lot.

“Devin Booker could go out and be taking 30 shots a night but he’s not doing that. He’s been efficient, he’s playing within the system. He’s playing on the defensive end, Phoenix Suns are one of the top-10 defenses in the league. They rank top-10 in every statistical category. And they’re winning games at a high level.”

And as for the thought that Booker could want to play elsewhere to potentially earn more recognition? Perkins doesn’t see that happening one bit.

“He reminds me of Kobe Bryant, and when I say that I’m talking about his mentality and the way he can put the ball in the bucket, honestly. … When he steps on the floor, Devin Booker believes he’s best player on the floor every single night. He believes that he can score with the best of them and rightfully so.

“When I look at Devin Booker, I don’t really see him as a guy that wants to leave a franchise like Phoenix. He already been through the rough times and now the times are starting to get better. … Right now they are winning and the future is bright. … I picked the Phoenix Suns to finished top-5 in the Western Conference, but the way they are playing this high level basketball on both ends of the floor, if they playing this way come postseason, we might need to start mentioning them as a title favorite towards the end of the year.”


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