During an exclusive interview with Sam Amick of The Athletic, Phoenix Suns shooting guard Devin Booker issued a strong statement on what it’s really like playing with small forward Kevin Durant.
“It’s very exciting,” Booker said. “A lot of space, a lot of opportunity. The thing about Kev is that he’s one of the best scorers – if not the best scorer – to ever play the game. But he still plays the right way. He makes teams pay for double teaming, and he’ll get off it quick. We just hoop. We make reads We make plays, and we start with a structure and our sets. He fits right into that and he knows what we’re doing.”
Durant is averaging 26.7 points, 7.3 rebounds and 3.7 assists in three games with the Suns, while Booker is averaging 36.0 points, 5.3 rebounds and 7.7 assists alongside KD. Durant will play on March 29 versus the Minnesota Timberwolves after missing 10 games with a left ankle injury, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium. The Texas product slipped in pregame warmups on March 8 and sprained his ankle at the Footprint Center.
“He’s a true hooper, and this is a place that he wanted to go,” Booker said about Durant. “So he’d obviously seen something in this team. He believes in everybody on this team, and the coach. You know, him and (Suns coach) Monty (Williams) have history (from their time together on Team USA and the 2015-16 season together in Oklahoma City). Him and Chris have Olympic history, just like me and him do. So there’s been a relationship there prior to (the deal) going down. I think that’s step one, knowing what type of person you’re going to get. And he’s just a straight hooper.”
Devin Booker Wanted the Suns to Trade for Kevin Durant
Booker wanted the Suns to trade for Durant after the future Hall of Famer requested a trade from the Brooklyn Nets. However, Booker said the trade was tough since he loved playing with Mikal Bridges and Cameron Johnson.
“I just wanted it to happen. But it’s tough,” Booker said. “We obviously got back one of the best players ever to play, but we lost a few young studs (to the Nets) too in Cam and Mikal (Bridges). I guess that’s part of the business, but it’s definitely tough. There were rumors and speculation throughout the summertime that (a Durant deal) was gonna happen, and then it was out of the question once they started playing well in Brooklyn. So you know, the Kyrie (Irving) situation went down and that opportunity presented itself again.”
Booker, who is averaging 28.1 points on the season, had a close relationship with Durant before the trade went through, so the two superstars haven’t had trouble meshing as teammates.
“We kick it at the crib, but we’d done that before,” Booker said. “Kev was somebody that I’d pull up on even when we weren’t teammates. He’d come by the house when he came to Phoenix, and vice versa. There was never no ‘Let’s play together’ type vibes. It was just kicking it.”
Devin Booker Takes Pride in Building the Suns
Booker takes a lot of pride in helping build the Suns into a contender. The three-time All-Star never wavered in his commitment to the franchise.
“Yea, I take pride in that, just building it from the ground up,” Booker said. “That’s how it’s been. It’s going through the tough times. Yeah, we take pride in it, man, just building it, seeing this from where it was and where it started to now to this being a destination. Even when Chris came (in November 2020), (that was the case). It’s been a destination for people.”
Booker, 26, has career averages of 23.9 points, 4.0 rebounds and 4.7 assists.