Suns coach Monty Williams calls Devin Booker missing All-Star Game a ‘joke’

Feb 5, 2023, 3:15 PM | Updated: Feb 6, 2023, 9:30 am
Head coach Monty Williams of the Phoenix Suns talks with Chris Paul #3 and Devin Booker #1 during t...
Head coach Monty Williams of the Phoenix Suns talks with Chris Paul #3 and Devin Booker #1 during the second half of the NBA game against the Charlotte Hornets at Footprint Center on December 19, 2021 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Phoenix Suns head coach Monty Williams was disappointed to see Devin Booker kept off the All-Star Game reserves list for the Western Conference.

He called it a “joke” on Saturday, according to Yahoo Sports’ Vince Goodwill.

Booker has missed 26 games this season, including the last 21 with a groin strain, but he still has more minutes logged than All-Star selectees Zion Williamson of the Pelicans and Jaren Jackson Jr. of the Grizzlies.

“He is one of the best players in the world,” Williams said in a press conference posted to Twitter by the Arizona Republic’s Duane Rankin.

“I was bothered by it because the criteria is out of control. There isn’t one, it’s a moving target every year. … These positions dictate a lot when it comes to the legacy of these players. I’ve said for years, we just don’t have enough spots.”

It remains possible Booker could fit in as an injury replacement.

Williamson has not played since Jan. 2 with a hamstring injury and his timetable remains murky. Stephen Curry of the Warriors will reportedly miss multiple weeks with a leg injury that will likely knock him out of the All-Star Game.

Booker has been an injury replacement twice in his career having done so in 2020 for Portland’s Damian Lillard and in 2021 for Anthony Davis of the Lakers.

The 2021-22 All-NBA First Team member is averaging 27.1 points per game this year on 47.7% shooting. The Suns are 18-11 with Booker in the lineup and 11-15 without him.

Booker is reportedly nearing a return as soon as Tuesday against the Brooklyn Nets.

Here is the list of named All-Stars:

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Suns coach Monty Williams calls Devin Booker missing All-Star Game a ‘joke’