Negativity at an all time high— Book (@DevinBook) June 4, 2022
I realize Booker is trying to be light and playful — at least that’s what I assume.
But it mostly just comes across as poking fun at rightfully angry fans over what quickly turned from the Phoenix Suns greatest season to its worst meltdown on the biggest national stage.
Booker had not spoken publicly since minutes after the Suns loss, where he did not make a bucket until the second half of the do-or-die game seven. The Suns’ leading scorer, and first team All-NBA for his wonderful regular season, finally saw the ball go through the net after the Suns were already down 40 points and the season was definitely over.
Booker finished with 15 points, but they were entirely empty and almost all of them came after the game was already long decided. He was double-teamed and forced to pass the ball almost any time he caught it — a ploy by the Mavericks that would have backfired had the rest of Book’s team shown up, but instead became an all-time ugly loss.
Book might retire as the greatest player ever to wear the Phoenix Suns jersey. He’s on pace to finish his career with the most points and most assists in team history, and will soon be signing a $211 million, four-year extension that begins in 2024 and will finish in 2028, at which point he will have completed his 13th season.
This game seven was not Book’s best.
Here were his comments right after the debacle on May 15, 2022.
On what’s bothering him about how the game unfolded:
“Just that we lost. That’s the biggest thing, and the fashion that we did it in. You can have those nights during the regular season and you can have them here and there when shots can’t fall, and I think it just happened to be the wrong timing on it in a Game 7.”
On why he didn’t try to score more when the game was getting out of reach:
“They followed their game plan. They did a good job of getting the ball out of my hands and trapping every action I was in. So I’ve always said, “I’m not the person that’s going to go out there and shoot over eight people.” I’m going to try to make the right play and it wasn’t the right play every time. Missed shots early, missed a few open ones that I got and that was that.”
On his emotions compared to last year’s loss in the Finals:
“Kind of the same — short of our goal. Even though last year we were a little bit closer, it hurts. But as a team, we just have to own it. You have to look at this and use it as a motivation just as we did with the Finals last year and take that into the summer with you. It’s tough, it’s going to be a few weeks of trying to clear our heads and get away from this. But the bonus is we get family time. We withstood a 100-game season, and a lot of our families make sacrifices around our schedule and now, we get to tend to them a little bit.”
On weighing a 64-win season against the Suns’ end result:
“I think right now we’re going to say, “It doesn’t matter.” When you look 30 years down the line, it’s kind of hard to put yourself in those shoes. We solidified ourselves in this organization, a historic organization, having the best record in the regular season. And like Chris said, we’re one of 16 teams down to one of eight teams but still short of our goal. We have something to build on, we have more fuel added to the fire and it’s just all stuff that you just have to stand up and be a man about. Say we lost and move forward with it.”
On his conversations with Mavericks guard Luka Doncic:
“Nothing ever got chippy between us during the whole series. I just told him, “Way to play, congratulations,” and “Good luck the rest of the way.”
On Suns starting center Deandre Ayton:
“I care about him as a brother. Just making sure his mental is right, making sure he’s straight off the court, just making sure he’s in the right position. We have that type of relationship. Whatever happens, happens. It’s kind of hard to look so far ahead in the future and try to determine your future. Just have to be ready to go.”
And now, just over two weeks later, he posts the tweet.