Devin Booker’s rise to relevance was for a while overshadowed by Kansas Jayhawks phenom Josh Jackson. The two are similar in the fact that they are both highly skilled, active, and athletic guards, but they are different in their game-planning. Booker’s game is based on shooting the ball consistently and aggressively from all over the court, while Jackson’s game is based on pursuing the ball, and finishing at the rim.

Tennis is moving toward a more modern age, and players are making moves that will ultimately lead to better results. One of the most prominent changes is the use of smaller rackets, and tennis players like Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic have embraced that concept. Teenage sensation Naomi Osaka is another big fan of the small racket—and it’s not just the kids that want smaller rackets.

In the 1990s, almost every basketball player wanted to emulate NBA legend Michael Jordan, including the late Kobe Bryant.

But today, many NBA stars are building their game on Bryant’s model, and before his death, he was a mentor to several young NBA stars, giving them a Mamba mentality.

Devin Booker, Phoneix Suns

P.J. Tucker of the Milwaukee Bucks drives to the basket after passing Devin Booker of the Phoenix Suns | Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

The player that many NBA analysts believe most resembles Bryant is Devin Booker. Stephen A. Smith of ESPN says he’s the next Kobe.

Smith had this to say about the Suns star recently on First Take:

It’s official, in his first playoff appearance, the Friar is the number one option and is averaging over 28 points.

Presenter Max Kellerman and Lakers great Magic Johnson agreed with Smith’s assessment of Booker. The 24-year-old idolized Bryant and even developed a friendship with him.

Asked by ESPN’s Malika Andrews what Bryant would say to him now that he is 2-1 in the Finals, Booker said: Finish the job. That’s what he would have told me.

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9. July 2021

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