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Devin Booker fights, becomes homies with Raptors mascot

“We hashed it out,” Booker said afterward. ““We homies now.”

Phoenix Suns v Toronto Raptors Photo by Cole Burston/Getty Images

Lost in the game between the Phoenix Suns and the Toronto Raptors last night — the Suns won, 99-95 — was a heated reaction by Devin Booker to the Raptors mascot’s attempt to distract him during free throws in clutch time.

The Suns were up just one point, 93-92, with 6.5 seconds left. Booker was at the line for free throws to put the Suns up by two or three points. Yet if he missed both, the Raptors would be able to score any basket to win.

Enter the Raptors mascot, who was the only fan in the building. Toronto has strict COVID-precaution policies, which include no large gatherings like back in early 2020. The mascot positioned himself behind the basket and jumped around to distract the Suns guard.

Book took it was disrespect, I guess. He made the free throw but then proceeded to complain to the officials about mascot’s antics (does a mascot do anything else but antic?).

Of course, the over-the-top reaction by Book was noticed by the internets, and detective work ensued.

On the far right of the frame, you can see what angered Book. The mascot was clearly performing unsportsmanlike anti— just kidding. It was just doing what thousands of other fans would have been doing during that moment.

Folks had fun on the internets.

Booker made both free throws, and the Suns went on to win 99-95 for their 14th clutch win of the season. The have the best clutch winning percentage (14-3, 82.4%) in the league, and the Suns are +30 with Booker on the floor in the clutch this season.

Will this become another ‘doubling in open gym’ thing where people bring it up years later?

Maybe. Probably.

The ‘doubling in open gym’ thing died out quickly when people started seeing Book beating doubles all the time the next season, leading to his first All-Star berth.

But what can Book do to quell the mascot doubters? Will teams around the league now try to clear out fans from behind the basket so their mascot can jump around to distract Book in clutch moments (Book made the FT anyway, by the way)?

Regardless, Booker explained himself after the game.

Have no fear that Book and the mascot have bad blood now. “We hashed it out,” Booker said later. “We’re homies now.”

Phew.

Next Up

Suns (league-best 31-9) don’t play again until Friday, at the Indiana Pacers (15-24).

Their originally-scheduled game vs. the Detroit Pistons today was moved to Sunday at 11:00am to assist the league’s rescheduling of some postponed COVID games.