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All-Star reserves announced, Devin Booker is in!

It is the fourth All-Star selection for the Phoenix Suns’ guard.

Phoenix Suns v Brooklyn Nets Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images

It’s something we may put a little too much weight into. You know, the entire All-Star selection process. No matter what happens and who is selected, someone somewhere is unhappy. That’s just how it goes. We’ve felt it before.

The Phoenix Suns were, for nearly a decade, a team that was spelunking at the bottom of the Western Conference. You don’t have to go too far back in Suns’ history — just 5 years to February of 2019 — when the team was 11-48 at the All-Star Break. Yikes. Still, the Suns had Devin Booker who was averaging 24.6 points and 6.7 assists. He was a star!

And he did not make the All-Star team.

Oooo, Book. That hair.

Yep. That’s the way it goes. Does making the All-Star team matter? Sure it does. When you get into pantheon discussions relative to basketball greatness, All-Star selections are part of that argument, right next to All-NBA selections, and championships. So it does matter.

Does it matter as much as we make it out to be? Hey. It’s early February. We have nothing else to talk about right now outside of Taylor Swift’s flight plan to the Super Bowl. In a vacuum, no, it doesn’t. Given the landscape of conversation pieces, however, we’ll talk about it.

Here we are again, 5 years later, and Devin Booker’s name is on the bubble of All-Star conversation. The difference? Phoenix has more than 11 wins. They’ve become a perennial threat in the Western Conference, partially due to a revamped approach to roster construction versus development, and mostly due to who and what Devin Booker has become.

Booker has, once again, been fantastic this season. He’s averaging career-highs in points (28.3), assists (7.3), field goal percentage (50.2%), and three-point shooting (38.8%). His career mark for rebounds is 5.0 a game in 2021-22; he’s at 4.9 this season.

Based on that, and coupled with the winning that the Suns have experienced, Booker has officially been named to his fourth All-Star Game. Whew. No snub lists this year!

Booker will join Western Conference starters Luka Doncic (Dallas Mavericks), Nikola Jokic (Denver Nuggets), LeBron James (Los Angeles Lakers), Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (Oklahoma City Thunder), and fellow teammate Kevin Durant in Indianapolis on February 18.

The starters were selected a week ago through a combination of fan, media, and player votes. The reserves are chosen entirely by the NBA’s 30 coaches.

The other Western Conference reserves include Stephen Curry (Golden State Warriors), Kawhi Leonard and Paul George (Los Angeles Clippers), Anthony Davis (Los Angeles Lakers), Karl-Anthony Towns and Anthony Edwards (Minnesota Timberwolves).

Booker was first elected to an All-Star Game in 2020. Well, “elected” probably isn’t the right word. “Played due to an injury to Dame Lillard” is more like it. Lillard injured his groin in the last game before the break and elected to rest rather than play, thus opening the door for Book to make his first appearance.

It was the same story just one year later as, in 2021, Booker did not make the All-Star list. He was atop every snub list you could find, especially seeing as the team was 24-11 at the break. Booker had only missed 4 games to that point in the season and was averaging 24.9 points, 4.4 points, and 3.6 rebounds on the team that was the number two seed in the Western Conference.

It was Anthony Davis who elected not to play (he was nursing a strained Achilles at the time) which opened the door for Devin Booker to be named as an All-Star alternate.

The 2022 All-Star Game was different for Booker in two ways. First, he actually was selected as a reserve. Both he and Chris Paul made the team for the first-place Suns. Secondly, this was a game that Booker would not play in.

2023 was different. Booker played at an All-Star level when he played, but that was the challenge. When he played. Book was oft-injured at the beginning of the season, having a groin injury sustained on a Christmas Day affair with the Nuggets. Sure, he was averaging 26.6 points and 5.5 assists, but by the time the All-Star Game came around, Booker had played just 33 of the Suns’ 60 games.

Booker’s selection to the 2024 All-Star squad ties him with Paul Westphal, Connie Hawkins, Shawn Marion, and Charles Barkley, all of whom made four appearances as members of the Phoenix Suns. Who has the most? Walter Davis with 6.

Thankfully we don’t have to spend the next few days arguing over why he didn’t make it. Congratulations to Devin for making it easy for the coaches to vote him to the team.

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