The Los Angeles Lakers Game 3 victory over the Phoenix Suns ended in controversy after Devin Booker pushed Dennis Schroder while he was in the air with just minutes remaining in the playoff matchup. The play earned Booker an ejection, but the Lakers superstars are fuming over what Anthony Davis called a “dirty play.” Booker was ejected but the NBA opted not to suspend the Suns guard for Game 4.
“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.”
Here is a look at Davis’ comments on the play by Booker.
LeBron on Booker’s Foul: ‘I Thought the Play Wasn’t a Basketball Play’
James echoed what Davis said about the foul on Schroder noting it “wasn’t a basketball play.” James has been complimentary of Booker’s game throughout his young career, but the Lakers star made his feelings known about the incident.
“I thought the play wasn’t a basketball play,” James noted in his postgame press conference. “Any time someone gets airborne, shoving him out [of] the air can be very dangerous. So, that’s that.”
Davis doubled down on his earlier comments providing a more extensive response in his postgame press conference. The Lakers big man explained that he does not want to see similar plays because “sometimes it can end badly for a player.”
“Yeah, it’s a physical game, all game,” Davis detailed. “Guys chirping. Me-Jae [Crowder], Jae-Bron, Dennis-Book [Booker], [DeAndre] Ayton had some words, but that’s playoff basketball. Guys going to chirp, guys going to talk, but we can’t allow plays like that to happen. Just to push a guy out the air, two hands. Whether it was out of frustration or not, it’s a scary play. Luckily, Dennis is alright, but sometimes it can end badly for a player. We don’t want to let the chirping lead to something like that. That’s all I got to say on that.”
Schroder on Booker: ‘Nobody’s Going to Disrespect Me’
Schroder admitted that there was some back-and-forth with Booker throughout the game, but he believes the Suns guard crossed the line with the foul. After the game, Schroder elaborated on his perspective of the tension between himself and Booker.
“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.”