ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith says ‘Devin Booker is the next Kobe Bryant’

Jun 21, 2021, 9:29 PM | Updated: 10:03 pm

Devin Booker #1 of the Phoenix Suns celebrates his dunk in the third quarter against the New York K...

Devin Booker #1 of the Phoenix Suns celebrates his dunk in the third quarter against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden on April 26, 2021 in New York City.(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

After defeating the Los Angeles Clippers in Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals and recording his first career triple-double, Suns guard Devin Booker is catching the eyes of the national media and being compared to his idol.

During ESPN’s First Take on Monday, Stephen A. Smith compared the Suns All-Star to Lakers’ legend Kobe Bryant.

“Devin Booker is the next Kobe Bryant. I’m saying it on national television, Devin Booker is the next Kobe Bryant,” Smith said. “It is official, in his first playoff appearance and the brother is the number one option and averaging over 28 (points). Dropped 40 (points) and a triple-double in the first game on the Conference Finals.”

Smith went on to say the Suns’ guard reminds him of an assassin with the way he plays on the court.

Booker showed the NBA world that he is an elite talent, helping the team overcome the absence of Chris Paul, who missed Game 1 due to health and safety protocols.

“Devin Booker is a mini Mamba,” ESPN’s Max Kellerman said. “He’s the closest thing offensively to Kobe’s game in the sense that he can kill you from anywhere.”

Booker idolized Bryant growing up and after Bryant’s last game in Phoenix in 2016, he gifted the Suns guard with his game worn shoes.

Bryant wrote “Be Legendary” on the side of the sneakers.

Those words stuck with Booker so much that he got those words tattooed on his forearm.

Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals is on Tuesday at 6 p.m. at Phoenix Suns Arena.

Catch all the action on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station.

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ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith says ‘Devin Booker is the next Kobe Bryant’