Suns’ Chris Paul: All-Star nod ‘bittersweet’ after Devin Booker snub
Chris Paul is carving out quite the Hall of Fame resume.
The Phoenix Suns point guard has continued to play at a high level in his 16th season, so much so that he was named to his 11th All-Star Game on Tuesday.
But while Paul never glances over the honor, the All-Star nod doesn’t have the same feeling to it with a deserving Devin Booker left off the initial roster for a second straight season.
“First and foremost, it’s an honor and a privilege to be an All-Star. That’s something I’ll never take for granted. A lot of hard work, my teammates, my coaching staff,” Paul said on TNT on Tuesday night. “It’s probably the most bittersweet of them all because Book is an All-Star.
“It’s not taking away from any of the guys that was named All-Star, but our team, the Phoenix Suns, we go as Book goes. He knows that and we know that.”
Paul is one of many who have voiced their displeasure with Booker’s snub from the March 7 game. The numbers speak for themselves.
This season, Booker is averaging 24.7 points, 3.5 rebounds and 4.3 assists per contest while shooting an efficient 50% from the field (tied for fourth among NBA shooting guards). He’s also draining 38% of his three-point looks.
In the month of February (12 games), Booker’s reached another level, averaging 26.8 points to go along with 4.1 rebounds and 4.5 assists per game. He’s shooting 53.1% from the field and 43.5% from 3-point land.
And about that knock that he doesn’t play for a winning team, that’s all but squashed at this point.
The Suns enter play Wednesday sitting fourth in the Western Conference standings at 20-10 and have even crept into some conversations as legitimate title contenders with the way they are playing.
“Book going to be fine. Book is going to be fine. Don’t make any mistake about that,” Paul told reporters via Zoom following Thursday’s shootaround. “I came to Phoenix because of Book. It’s because of who Book is and the way he plays and the ways he channels his energy. Book already plays with a chip on his shoulder. We good over here.”
Booker, Paul and the Suns will look to make it four straight victories when they take on the Charlotte Hornets. Tune to 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station at 7 p.m. for all the action.