The Phoenix Suns guard told reporters that he had the confidence to go for 70 points against the Boston Celtics because he learned from Kobe Bryant not to put any limits on himself. “I seen an interview with Kobe; he said what separated him from a lot of people was everyone thought 30 points was a lot,” Booker said, via Adam Himmelsbach of the Boston Globe. “He said he never set himself a limit, and that always sticks in my head. He said he’d score 100 if he could. So he never had a limit, I don’t put a limit on anything. I want to be the best in life. In all parts in life, not just basketball.”
Sitting at his locker, veteran center Tyson Chandler considered what he had just witnessed at the TD Garden. The word that kept popping to mind was “legendary.” Does Booker have everything figured out? No. And to Chandler, that is what’s so impressive. “God willing this kid stays healthy,” he said, “I think he’s going to be a Top 10 scorer of all time.”
Storyline: Devin Booker 70-Point Game
The Celtics didn’t see it that way. Maybe it was because Booker talks a lot of trash. He had words with Isaiah Thomas after he rejected the All-Star guard in transition. He exchanged words with forward Jae Crowder, who informed the Suns guard in the second half, mistakenly as it turned out, “You’re not getting 50.” At some road stops this season, this has made Booker a villain of sorts. It’s a role he embraces. “He was like that at Kentucky,” said point guard Tyler Ulis, who teamed with Booker in college. “We told the media about how we liked away games more because we liked the boos and we took that on and it made us play better. He doesn’t care who likes him on the court.”
Booker became just the sixth player in NBA history to score at least 70 points in a game. It’s an accomplishment that not even the great Michael Jordan was able to achieve. “I didn’t see it, I just heard it this morning,’’ Mavs guard J. J. Barea said. “I’ve got to see what happened, but 70 is 70. “I heard they lost (130-120), so that makes it a little bit (good news/bad news). But 70 is 70, so congrats to him.”
“LeBron [James] and myself are similar,” O’Neal told earlier this month in Atlanta. “We could be MVP every year. But [the voters] don’t give it every year and he’s already got four. [I should have won] three, easily. Kobe should have won three, too. [I should have won] the two that Steve Nash got over me. It pisses me off. [Nash] knows.” For the record, O’Neal retired in 2011 with five top-three MVP finishes, eight top-five finishes and 13 top-10 finishes. He was runner-up to Robinson in 1995, runner-up to Nash in 2005, and injured for a good chunk of the 2006 season when Nash won his second MVP. Even O’Neal’s sole MVP win remains a sore spot, though, as he was one vote shy of becoming the first unanimous MVP in NBA history. Warriors guard Stephen Curry claimed that honor last year.
Isaiah Thomas wasn’t the only Boston Celtics player who had something (not entirely positive) to say about Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker’s 70-point game Friday. When the NBA posted a photo of the Suns celebrating Booker’s accomplishment , complete with Booker holding up a sheet of paper with “70” written on it, Wilt-style, Celtics forward Jae Crowder commented, “NEVER SEEN SO MANY GUYS HAPPY AFTER AN ‘L.’” Booker quickly fired back with “you can’t guard me.” Fair.
5 days ago via ESPN