INDIANAPOLIS — Devin Booker let loose a smile about the global reaction to his problem with his “Raptor” spell after his 35-point evening in Friday’s win over the Pacers.
“It’s a meme world now, you know what I’m saying,” Booker said when asked if this blew up even more than he thought. “I just try to maintain perspective and I’m enjoying it. We have the best record in the NBA. We play good basketball. Life is good. My family is healthy. It’s just a joke to me.”
He finished his post-game interview and touched on the question of how some social media is taking things too seriously of him, and he took the opportunity to speak directly to those out there who continue to compare him to one of the basketball stars, the late, great Kobe Bryant.
“I really enjoy this and have always enjoyed social media,” Booker said. “I check it every day and when they say good things about it I don’t get very high, and I don’t get into it. The only problem I have is people are still comparing me to Kobe Bryant when I was told in the playoffs stop bringing up the mamba mentality. The Kobe Bryant and mamba mentality inspired me. But I’m not Kobe Bryant.”
Then Booker paused, continued with a closing statement on the situation, and walked out of the interview room.
“And the people here are screaming Mamba mentality out of their mother’s house. I’ll leave you with that.”
The two-time Suns All-Star received thunderous attention after Tuesday’s win in Toronto as he reacted to the mascot “Raptor” waving behind the basket as he made free throws 6.5 seconds left in the fan-free Scotiabank Arena.
After the match, Booker joked that the mascot was “alive,” and that they were “buddies now.”
Some with Booker enjoyed it while others mocked and criticized him because the situation was the subject of debate on national sports media networks.
Booker even changed his Twitter profile picture to a raptor kneeling at the side of the court after the referee made him walk away from the area.
However, Booker saw some of the backlash as “hate,” which made the support Kentucky fans showed him in Friday’s game all the more rewarding.
“It’s love, man,” Booker said. “There’s no feeling like it, especially after so much hate came up in the last match. He sets the record straight to have a loyal Big Blue Nation here and show love. That’s what it’s all about. I appreciate it.”
Chris Paul didn’t know what Booker was talking about when he told him, ‘Home game 3’, but he quickly figured out what he meant when he saw the UK’s love for his teammate.
“That big blue nation, go deep,” said Paul. “It was like a real home match.”
During the pre-match and at the beginning of the game, there was a dinosaur mascot on the field. He held up a sign that read, “Am I a distraction?” While Booker was shooting a free throw in the first quarter.
As the game progressed, the mascot was no longer present as Suns advanced early and Booker later scored 22 points in the third quarter.
“I also don’t see him,” Booker said. “I’m looking for it, though.”
All the attention from the Raptor mascot could make one forget his Friday night performance, but his teammates certainly recognized his play in the 112-94 win.
“We wouldn’t win this game if he wasn’t crazy like that,” Paul said. “His shot is unrealistic. His shot on the clock goes off. Money. He leads to the basket.”
Booker fired 8 of 12 from the field in the third quarter, scoring 4 of 6 of 3.
“He just hit some hard kicks,” said Suns coach Monty Williams. “We gave up 38 points in that third quarter so we needed something to make up for that.”
For the game, Booker scored a career high of three by six as it was a major part of the night that saw Deandre Ayton score 21 of his 27 first-half points and Paul slipped 10 of 12 into fourth in a 5-of-6 shooting. .
“They have a lot of answers,” Pacers coach Rick Carlisle said. “…Aton early. Booker in third and Paul in the end. Those are three great players.”
Booker may find another dinosaur mascot on Sunday afternoon when the Suns in his hometown of Michigan play against the Pistons.
“I’m sure he’ll be in Detroit,” Booker said. “I’m sure he will follow me everywhere,”
Poker will also have a family at Little Caesars Arena as well.
“It’s a lot of love, man,” Booker said. “I think people usually don’t like coming to these cities. Indiana and Detroit, but I really enjoy them. They have good crowds.”
Booker said his aunt attended Friday’s game.
“I haven’t seen her in two years since before the pandemic and she was here tonight,” Booker said. “There is no such feeling.”
Do you have an opinion about the current position of the sun? Contact Suns Insider Duane Rankin at email@example.com or call him at 480-787-1240. Follow him on Twitter at Tweet embed.
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