The All-Star guard went on social media and tweeted, “36 unbothered.” Booker didn’t speak to the media after the Suns lost Game 6 of the Western Conference Semifinals to the Denver Nuggets or when the team conducted exit interviews.
Booker’s jersey number is No. 1, while Kevin Durant wears No. 35. It appears Booker is implying that he and Durant are not worried despite the Suns losing in the second round of the playoffs and Williams getting fired.
According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, Williams was fired on May 13 and new Suns owner Mat Ishbia made the decision. Williams was 194-115 in the regular season and 27-19 in the playoffs with the Suns. He guided Phoenix to the 2021 Finals and won the Coach of the Year Award in 2022.
“New Suns owner Mat Ishbia made the decision to dismiss Williams immediately after Thursday night’s Game 6 loss to the Denver Nuggets and had general manager James Jones call him on Saturday night and deliver the news, sources said,” Wojnarowski reported. “The pressure on Williams increased from the moment Ishbia engineered the trade deadline deal for Kevin Durant in February, shortly after Ishbia’s ownership group was approved by the league’s Board of Governors.
“Ishbia had never warmed to Williams as his coach and decided quickly after Thursday night’s season-ending loss that he would fire him, sources said. Jones has long been an advocate and ally to Williams, but was quoted in the team’s news release on Saturday night saying that ‘it was difficult for me to make this decision.’ Williams had three years and more than $20 million left on his contract, sources told ESPN. He is expected to become a prominent candidate in coaching searches elsewhere in the league, especially the Toronto Raptors’, sources said.”
Devin Booker Played Poorly in Game 6
The Suns lost Game 6 to the Nuggets by 25 points and Booker didn’t play well. The Kentucky product finished with just 12 points in 35 minutes while shooting 4-of-13 from the field, 1-of-3 from beyond the arc and 3-of-4 from the free-throw line.
It was a tough end to what was a stellar postseason run for Booker. The 26-year-old averaged 33.7 points, 4.8 rebounds and 7.2 assists in 11 games against the Los Angeles Clippers and Nuggets. However, Booker and the Suns have now gotten embarrassed at home in back-to-back postseasons with their season on the line. Phoenix lost Game 7 of the 2022 Western Conference Semifinals to the Dallas Mavericks by 33 points.
Booker is one of the best players in the NBA, so he’s not going to get traded this summer by the Suns. The Michigan native signed a four-year, $224.2 million extension with Phoenix in July 2022.
Kevin Durant After Game 6: ‘We Got a Good Foundation’
Durant told reporters after Game 6 of the Nuggets series that the Suns have a “good foundation.”
“It’s hard right now to see what the future will hold for our team,” Durant said. “But we got a good foundation, good infrastructure we can build on and move on from this and learn from it and get better from it. But it’s a hard question to answer right now. I’m sure as the summer and offseason starts to progress we’ll figure that out a little bit more.”
Durant and Booker will be back with the Suns next season unless one of the All-Stars requests a trade. The same can’t be said for Deandre Ayton and Chris Paul, as both players are expected to be involved in trade talks this summer, according to Tim MacMahon of ESPN.