Despite several Los Angeles Lakers making pointed remarks directed at Devin Booker, the Phoenix Suns star guard is expected to be available for Game 4. According to Duane Rankin of the Arizona Republic, the NBA has opted not to suspend Booker after his ejection for pushing Dennis Schroder in the final minutes of Game 3. The news comes after Schroder suggested that Booker’s actions would typically warrant a suspension in the regular season.
“Yeah, it don’t matter. Like I said, that wasn’t a basketball play,” Schroder explained, per Lakers Nation. “In the regular season, that would probably be a suspension as well. Like I said, my mom did a great job raising me, and yeah. That’s it.”
The NBA does not provide many details on what ejections will warrant a suspension other than to say it is up to the “sole discretion” of the commissioner.
“Whether or not said player(s) is ejected, a fine not exceeding $50,000 and/or suspension may be imposed upon such player(s) by the Commissioner at his sole discretion,” per NBA rules.
A.D. Called Booker’s Flagrant Foul a ‘Dirty Play’
Fortunately, Schroder was OK after the hard foul, but he was not the only Lakers player who was frustrated by Booker’s flagrant. Anthony Davis was perhaps the most vocal in calling out Booker for what the Lakers big man called a “dirty play.”
“Can’t happen, can’t do that,” Davis told TNT after the game. “They’ve been chirping, it’s playoff basketball, but you don’t push a guy in the air like that [with] two hands. It’s a dirty play. Dennis [Schroder] could have really got hurt right there. We keep it in between the lines, and I know Monty [Williams], he’s not that type of coach. He’s probably going to say something to him. [He was] my coach for three years. That just can’t happen. Hard fouls, things like that, it’s playoff basketball, we accept those. But just to blatantly push a guy with two hands out the air, it’s a scary play. Good thing he’s okay, but plays like that is unacceptable.”
Schroder on Booker’s Foul: ‘Somebody Took It Too Sensitive & Fouled Me’
After the game, Schroder admitted that there had been some trash talk between himself and Booker throughout the game. The Lakers guard felt that Booker took things too far with his reaction, calling the Suns star “sensitive.”
“My mom raised me right,” Schroder noted, per ESPN. “When somebody talks to me first, I’m gonna talk back. It don’t matter who it is. If somebody talks to me disrespectfully, I’m going to do the same thing, so at the end of the day, we’re going to battle then. Nobody’s going to disrespect me. The end of the day, I just talked back and somebody took it too sensitive and fouled me.”
Regardless of Booker’s status, the Suns still have challenges heading into Game 4, starting with how to slow down a Lakers team that is finally finding its footing. Chris Paul has not looked like himself in the series since sustaining a shoulder injury in the opening minutes of Game 1.