The Suns Found Their Hype

It’s been an abysmal two-season stretch for the Phoenix Suns. It’s hard to pinpoint where exactly it went wrong. Some fans would like to say that the minute Sarver bought the team is when it went downhill, despite the “Nash” era that followed.

What seems to have initiated the turmoil was their inability to get a deal done quickly with Eric Bledsoe two summers ago. Whether it was Rich Paul (Bledsoe’s agent) or the Suns front office that held up the talks, is moot (history shows it was most likely Paul). All this hesitation caused the Suns to sign PG Isaiah Thomas, in-case Bledsoe decided to leave town. This eventually was one of the main reasons Goran Dragic became sour towards the team and front office. The rest is history.

Fast forward to today. The team is heading towards one of the it’s worst, if not the worst, record in franchise history. They fired their coach, Jeff Hornacek, just a few months ago and traded their best player that wasn’t injured for a mid first rounder. Owner, Robert Sarver, had to publically acknowledge the teams lack of effort and the front office’s inability to create a clear direction for the team in an “open letter to the fans”. These are all signs of a decaying franchise.

A New Hope?

However, despite all the negativity and uncertainty. The Suns may also hold the cure to that decay — a budding superstar.

Sun's rookie Devin Booker #1Rookie Devin Booker has been an amazing talent to watch and he continues to get better and better as the season progresses. His shot is a thing of beauty, rarely touching the rim. It’s earned him a place in this year’s 3-point shootout contest (which Klay Thompson won) and a spot in the NBA’s Rising Star Challenge where he put up 23 points going 5/8 from behind the arc. He can also drive to the rim, showing an uncanny ability to finish, considering his size and lack of experience.

And that’s what makes him one of the most interesting players in the NBA right now. Last night, he recorded a career high of 35 points against the Denver Nuggets. It was his third thirty point game of the week (34 vs Miami & 32 in New York).

His back to back 30 point performance also earned him some very high praise, putting him in rare air. Booker joins ring-of-fire members (the Suns hall of fame) Alvan Adams and Walter Davis as the only Suns rookies to score three, thirty point games in one season. What’s even more impressive is him joining LeBron James as the only two 19-year olds who have recorded back to back 30 point games.

He plays hard with heart and passion. He makes it look easy and like he’s a ten-year veteran. He’s a bright, bright star in what has been a pitch black season. He’s the reason most Suns’ fans decide to tune in. But the best thing about Devin Booker’s game?

He’s only 19 years old.