What goes into making an NBA superstar?
What are some of the key ingredients?
The ability to score at will, the confidence to take the last shot, the hops to throw down posterizing dunks, or maybe even high marketability? The answer is a combination of these things, along with other intangibles. Having just signed a max extension with the Suns for $158 million, assuring the city he stays for his prime, Devin Booker is the NBA’s next superstar.
Booker has everything you need to be an NBA icon. He is young, just 21 years old. He played college basketball at the nation’s biggest NBA factory in Kentucky. He was a classic ‘one-and-done’ player, meaning he played just the one mandatory collegiate year before entering the NBA Draft. He wears trendy clothing, has the trendy haircut, and is all over social media. Booker even wears a trendy jersey number, #1.
These things should lead us to believe that Booker is already a superstar. While he may be decently known to the casual NBA fan, he is still flying under the radar. The major problem or roadblock, for Booker, is where he plays. Not only are the Suns a terrible team recently, but they play in the Pacific Time zone, making most of his games far too late for over half the country to really watch on a regular basis. Arizona, in general, has odd daylight savings time rules, making watching Suns games East of the Mississippi difficult unless you can stay up until midnight on weeknights.
Anatomy Of A Superstar
Today’s NBA is all about scoring. All the top stars in the league are elite scorers: Steph Curry, James Harden, LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Kevin Durant. The days of being a lockdown defender or a rebounding machine making you a star are over, for now. Booker certainly can score. In fact, he has a higher career scoring mark for one game than any other active NBA player, including LeBron. For the record, his game-high also beats guys like Michael Jordan, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and even Karl Malone. Booker’s career game high for points is 70. You read that correctly.
The Suns have changed things in upper management as well as with their entire coaching staff. They recently drafted number one overall, taking Arizona’s own Deandre Ayton, as well as adding three more picks in the 2018 Draft. They are the NBA’s youngest team and have been adding quality players through the draft for a few years now.
As teams like the Warriors begin to age and inevitably break apart, the Suns are poised to become a team like that in the coming years. Once they do, Booker’s status as an NBA superstar will take off. He’s got the swagger, the ability, the leadership, and the game to be the NBA’s biggest star. It is not a question, honestly, but a matter of time. Signing a max extension in Phoenix was just the beginning for Booker.