No, it’s not one of those ads you hear on podcasts for a new blade made in a German factor that is less than the other guys. It’s a principle of problem solving that says if there are two or more explanations for something the simplest one is the likely answer.
Enter Devin Booker and his hand injury.
When John Gambodoro broke the news Sunday that the Suns’ young star would require surgery on his shooting hand all hell broke loose. Part of that was because the injury capped off what we lovingly called “Sunday, Bloody Sunday” here in Phoenix as the new look Cardinals got destroyed and the D-backs blew yet another late lead. The other reason was because of the nature of Booker’s injury.
News of the surgery came out of nowhere. Despite having missed time at the end of the season due to a right hand injury, it hadn’t slowed Devin Booker down from taking part in team USA camp, pick up games, gripping the pen to sign a max contract extension and various other offseason activities. So what caused the hand to suddenly swell up and require surgery?
Cue the internet detectives.
Did he punch a police horse, fall off a table in a Scottsdale club, have another elevator incident on ASU’s campus or fall off a unicycle? (Only one of those is not a theory floated out there and I bet it’s tough to guess which.) People examined photos of him at the ASU football game the night before flashing the “fork ‘em” sign. Others flocked to his Instagram stories to breakdown his recent Instagram Stories video posted minutes after the news of him riding a bike without hands on the handle bars like it was the Zapruder film. It even led one local “media member” — I think I just injured my third and fourth metacarpophalangeal joint on both hands making those air quotes — to irresponsibly speculate that there was a conspiracy theory to cover things up.
While playing sleuth is fun and irresponsibly suggesting things is now the internet’s favorite pastime, the likelihood that any of that is the real reasoning is slim to none.
It all comes back to Occam’s Razor. The simplest explanation is likely the answer.
Tuesday on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM as a guest on Bickley and Marotta General Manager Ryan McDonough finally provided that simplest explanation. The hand swelled up during a pickup game at the arena.
“Just in one of those games, the hand swelled up,” McDonough explained. “There was no trauma that we could see — it wasn’t like he hit it or jammed it or anything stood out unusually while he was playing. The hand just swelled up.”
It’s understandable why fans would be skeptical. The Suns’ front office and franchise haven’t exactly had a spotless record over the last few years when it comes to communication and odd situations with players. That said, this seems different.
What benefit is there to sidestep the truth? In today’s world the cover tends to be worse than the situation you hide and with a million ways to get information the truth usually comes out one way or another.
While conspiracy theories are fun and give you something to talk about in the dead months of August and early September, they usually have very little to do with reality. The simplest explanation is that Booker reaggravated last season’s injury while playing pickup ball at the worst possible time heading into the season.
It’s the most likely answer and if it’s not the truth, while the Suns have bigger problems then a few people speculating wildly on the internet.