Suns' Devin Booker passes Kobe Bryant as the youngest guard ever to score 7,000 points
Kobe Bryant might be gone, but his mark on the game will last forever
When the Phoenix Suns drafted DeAndre Ayton No. 1 overall, the young center said that he and Devin Booker could be "Shaq and Kobe 2.0." Whether or not Ayton is doing his part to reach that lofty goal is up for debate, but this season, Booker has given Suns fans a marvelous Kobe Bryant impression.
He is averaging 27 points per game this season, just ahead of Bryant's career average of 25, and is shooting 50.8 percent from the field and 36.5 percent from behind the arc, he has done so more efficiently than Bryant typically did. In that context, it seems only fitting that Booker would break one of Bryant's records this season. He managed to do so on Tuesday, only two days after Bryant's tragic death in a helicopter accident, the Suns' star broke Bryant's mark as the youngest guard ever to score 7,000 points. The milestone came on a 3-pointer in the third quarter of Phoenix's win over the Dallas Mavericks.
Bryant's playing style is a rarity in the modern NBA. Booker scores his points quite differently. He runs only 2.6 isolations per game, whereas a compromised Bryant ran 4.0 in his final season and far more at his peak. But in many ways, Booker has spent his entire career doing what Bryant had to for large stretches of his prime.
He has carried poor rosters and did so by scoring a ton of points. It hasn't led to the postseason success Bryant managed to find even between Shaquille O'Neal and Pau Gasol, but few players can understand the burden Bryant was under at that point in his career better than Booker. He lived it.
If Booker wants to keep pace with Bryant moving forward, though, he'll have to step up. He is now 23-years-old. In his age-24 season, Bryant averaged 30 points per game. It will certainly be an uphill battle, but given his age and the improving talent around him, Booker could certainly take another leap and push himself even further into Bryant's historic scoring territory.
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