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Is Devin Booker being disrespected in the All-Star voting? Kind of.

Booker hasn’t done anything this season to separate himself from the rest of the West’s elite guards, but he should feel disrespected that he was forgotten.

Miami Heat v Phoenix Suns Photo by Kate Frese/NBAE via Getty Images

I have to say up front that I do not personally care all that much for personal accolades for Phoenix Suns players. My interest is in the team’s success, particularly postseason success.

That said, the PLAYERS do care. A lot. Most NBA players are concerned with their legacies, and Devin Booker is certainly no exception.

So I’m pretty sure it had to sting Booker pretty hard when the initial fan voting returns for this year’s All-Star game showed him not even among the top 10 vote-getters among Western guards.

To be fair to the fans, it’s defensible not to vote for Booker for the all-star game this year. There are a lot of really good guards in the Western Conference. He’s being outscored by several other guards, including Luka Doncic and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, among others. He has stepped up admirably as a distributor, with an impressive 7.8 assists per game, but has also regressed a bit defensively after two years of being hailed as one of the league’s most improved defensive players.

Booker surely “deserves” an all-star nod, but it’s defensible not to choose him as a starter ahead of Luka and SGA at the least, and possibly a couple of other guys too. And that’s fine.

All that said, though, Booker should feel disrespected. Why? Because the fan vote is a reflection of who the fans think are the top players in the NBA right now, and apparently Booker isn’t one of them. The fans, writ large, don’t think he’s the top guard in the conference or even a top 10 guard in the conference. That’s pretty brutal for an all-NBA player who is still just 27 years old.

It’s also a reflection of what the fans think of our Suns. The Suns are a “superteam,” but they aren’t looking so super. Bradley Beal has been injured much of the year, and not played especially well when he’s been available. The bench, though it has some guys you love to cheer for, is a pretty motley crew outside of Eric Gordon, if we’re honest. The team lacks the strong defensive identity it possessed two years ago, and its ad hoc offense isn’t nearly good enough to offset that.

And Booker, as the Suns’ anchor star, bears the weight of all of that. The Suns aren’t getting respect, so Booker isn’t getting respect.

The good news for us, is that Booker can use that sense of disrespect, which (unfairly or not) he has earned, as fuel. Fuel to help him will this team to be better, even as it obviously has some changes to make to get to where we all want it to be.

I still expect Devin Booker to be an all-star this season. And he deserves it. But he also hasn’t really earned it either. So let’s see him, and the Suns prove the fans wrong.

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