Suns star Devin Booker loses his cool in pick-up game after being double-teamed during open run: 'I get that s--- all season'
An NBA player should really be able to handle doubles in a pick-up game
Devin Booker is an established NBA player for the Phoenix Suns who typically has little trouble scoring against top professional defenders during regulation games. It stands to reason, then, that the same would be on the pickup court against lesser players.
For the most part, it was. Booker dominated a recent pick-up game organized by trainer Chris Johnson that featured several other prominent NBA players, including Ben Simmons and Joakim Noah. At one point, a voice is even heard saying "you gotta chill out Book," to which he responded, "I'm just working, bro. I ain't been to the playoffs yet."
As well as he played overall, though, Booker did nearly lose his cool at one point. He got mad at his defenders when he was double-teamed in the corner. The strong defense led to Booker losing the ball and chastising the players guarding him.
First and foremost, the defense was effective. It forced a turnover, and no matter the level, good defense is something to be encouraged. That should be especially true for Booker, whose own defense is criticized quite often. The Suns finished 29th in defense last season and have landed no higher than 28th over the past three years. Perhaps effective trapping like this could improve that figure.
And then there's the conflict present within Booker's own words. He says "let's work on our game," and all lead guards in the NBA need to be able to respond to double-teams. Booker could clearly use some work in that area, and while nobody would expect him to be thankful for it, insisting that he not be subjected to doubles is a strange response as well.
This is just a pick-up game, and players talk during pick-up games. It isn't something that too much should be read into, and Booker is likely just frustrated at having to see yet another double-team. Considering how many of them he sees as the lone high-level scorer on the Suns roster, such frustration is understandable.
But at the same time ... this is a pick-up game. Booker is an aspiring All-Star and Phoenix's franchise player. Getting caught unprepared against a double is one thing, but lashing out against it is quite another. It's not as if Kawhi Leonard or Jrue Holiday are going to be open to suggestions on how to defend him when the season comes along.
Ultimately there is no harm done here, but it's never encouraging to see an NBA star get frustrated during a pick-up game. Booker has largely kept his cool on NBA courts, but it seems as if years of carrying lackluster teams are starting to get to him.
CBS Sports HQ Daily Newsletter
Get the best highlights and stories - yeah, just the good stuff handpicked by our team to start your day.
Thanks for signing up!
Keep an eye on your inbox for the latest sports news.
There was an error processing your subscription.
The Rockets know that their time to win an NBA title is now
There are likely multiple reasons for this, and hey, it's great news for the fans
Simmons has yet to make a three point shot in his NBA career
The league is looking to crack down on player-to-player, as well as team tampering
The Knicks' front office didn't act like previous regimes would have, but how should we evaluate...
The 76ers unveil another new jersey that they'll wear for the upcoming 2019-20 season