With every NBA season comes a slew of players who believe they should’ve made the All-Star Game, and coaches who echo those sentiments. On Saturday, Suns coach Monty Williams added to this year’s discourse with a strong statement about Devin Booker.
Williams shared his thoughts about Booker, who’s missed the last 21 games with a groin strain, being left off this year’s All-Star team prior to the Suns’ road game against the Pistons. Needless to say, Williams made it a point to emphasize how unbelievable he thought it was that his star guard didn’t make the cut.
“He’s the best two-guard in the league. Makes no sense he’s not playing in the game. Facts,” Williams said, via Duane Rankin of Arizona Republic. The veteran coach also labeled Booker’s All-Star omission as “a joke,” per Vincent Goodwill of Yahoo Sports.
Phoenix has been without Booker, one the NBA’s best players at the start of the year, since the three-time All-Star suffered a left groin strain on Christmas Day. In the weeks since being relegated to the sidelines, Booker has watched Phoenix (28–26) post a 7–10 record in his absence and the NBA announce the All-Star starters on Jan. 26 and reserves on Feb. 2, two lists the 26-year-old was notably left off of.
While some may attribute Williams’s frustration over Booker’s situation as the catalyst for his response, a case can certainly be made for the sharpshooter’s All-Star snub despite his prolonged absence. And, with his return reportedly coming as soon as Tuesday, Booker will likely come back looking to send a message with his play.
An All-NBA first team talent last season, Booker is averaging a career-high 27.1 points per game, 4.6 rebounds and 5.6 assists on shooting splits of 47.7% from the field and 37% from the three-point line in his 29 games played. Prior to this season, Booker has been named to the All-Star team for the last three years.