Phoenix Suns superstar Devin Booker has earned high marks, and pundits like ESPN’s Stephen A Smith are showing high levels of appreciation. However, Smith has recently been walking the treadmill of recency bias takes, and he has dropped another one that will leave several fans shaking their heads, face-palming, and howling with laughter while others will nod their heads in a way.
Smith went on First Take on Monday and proclaimed that Devin Booker, who has been spectacular throughout his young career, is now the next Kobe Bryant. Say what now? Yes, Devin Booker is to quote Mr. Smith, the next Kobe Bryant.
You can’t be serious. At this point, this is like being in the comedy club, and the comedian tells a joke that is so funny that you are laughing yourself drunk and falling out of your chair and howling. Additionally, you have basketball fans visibly upset and wondering why recency bias is always being spoken as if it has been a stone-cold truth.
Phoenix Suns superstar Devin Booker has earned high marks, and pundits like ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith are showing high levels of appreciation.
However, while the take is at first glace laughable, there is some truth. For one, Booker has been a big fan of the late superstar and does have traits that resemble the Mamba’s game. Additionally, Booker has done a lot with less than admirable parts around him, making the Mamba smile from above.
Devin Booker has even put up a 70 point game, not quite the 81 that Bryant once dropped, but impressive nonetheless. However, to say he’s the next Bryant is one that you get to some degree but can’t quite bring yourself to say it’s 100 percent true.
If Kobe Bryant were still living today, he would have told Devin Booker to chase and create his own great legacy with his Phoenix Suns while admiring how Booker used his career as inspiration. After all, Bryant wanted to be as great as Michael Jordan. While he never quite matched Jordan’s legacy, Jordan admitted that Bryant was as close to him as he was in his playing career. The same for Booker. He can’t be the exact replica of Bryant, but his progression makes him the closest.
But the real question goes back to Smith. What’s with all these recent takes? First, you say that Donovan Mitchell is better than Karl Malone and John Stockton, and he doesn’t even make the conference finals. Now, this? Granted, there is some validity, but to say it’s official means that Booker’s career has ended and nothing else can be added. Sorry, but that’s not the case.
Devin Booker is to be commended, and winning a championship in of all places, the city of Phoenix, would be unbelievable, given how the franchise only made one NBA Finals under Hall of Famer Charles Barkley and lost in six games to Jordan and the Bulls. If Booker were to win it all, it would enhance his legacy beyond comprehension and cement him among greatness like what Bryant and Jordan did. But he’s not Kobe Bryant, at least not yet, and that’s what’s official.