Every year, the NBA has a few games that find their way into the history books, but on March 24, 20-year-old Devin Booker shook the audience by stacking up 70 points in a single game. His career with the Phoenix Suns has been quite fruitful, but none expected such a record-breaking performance.
Their game against the Celtics still ended with a loss (120-130) despite his astonishing performance, but that did not stop the players from celebrating the significant milestone.
Having been a rookie only last season, Booker has not had sufficient time to truly establish his presence in the NBA but his recent performance certainly marked a career high.
In addition to scoring 70 points, he earned eight rebounds and six assists. His performance, however, was not enough to beat the Celtics, which has gotten people talking about a possibility of him leaving the team.
Booker has secured himself a spot on a very short and honorable list of people to get 70+ points in a game, he joined none other than Wilt Chamberlain, Kobe Bryant, David Robinson, Elgin Baylor and David Thompson. These players are regarded as nothing less than legendary and will always be in discussion when the NBA is brought up.
Interestingly, Michael Jordan, arguably the greatest player to play in the league, only managed to get a career high of 69 points. That being said, right after the game, it was apparent that his teammates were a lot more concerned about his achievement than the loss they just went through.
Many videos surfaced online of parties and post-game celebrations revolving around Devin Booker, which got many critics and commentators questioning the Phoenix Suns’ integrity and priorities in the NBA. Many influential personalities criticized how easy it was for Booker to put himself on a list of such legendary players.
In reality, the game was not the greatest of performances for the team; the Suns were fighting much of the game, trailing by 26 at one point and at half time did not seem to have any fight left in them.
As Boston started racking up more and more points and creating a bigger gap, the Suns began helping Booker by setting screens, intentionally fouling and using their timeouts to give Booker as many chances to score as many points as possible. Other players that have gotten 70 points, such as Kobe Bryant, did an effort to sustain a great performance to carry their team to the win, and that minimizes Booker’s reputation and glory. Despite these criticisms and attempts to contain the hype of his performance, it is undeniable that the Suns are motivated to put more effort in their games as the public eye is on them.
Moreover, Booker is only 20 years old, meaning this accomplishment has reached many news outlets around the world and has gotten huge attention online.
It is quite impressive that he is as young or younger than most athletes here at AUB, therefore, we decided to interview a couple of AUB’s own. Omar Captan, Varsity Tennis player and former member of the Ultimate Frisbee team, told us that he was shocked while watching the memorable game. Captan continued to tell us how amazed he was by how the points kept adding up, “I’ve always considered him to be good, but not that good,” said Captan.
That being said, the adrenaline rush of the game didn’t get to him, Captan insisted that he became a bit skeptical of this achievement when people started comparing Booker to Kobe Bryant, “one of the greats.”
“I feel that this ego boost at such a young age might harm him in the future,” he continued to explain how Booker might get too carried away with this achievement when in reality he did not fully earn his place on the list.
Alfred Bowles, captain of the Varsity Rugby team, did not seem to be as impressed by the news, as he felt that losing a game but scoring 70 points does not change the fact that they lost the game.
“As a team player, I value the team’s performance over my own records, that’s why I think that the Suns should not get carried away with Devin Booker’s ability. After all, one player can’t win the championship alone.”
This opinion has been quite popular, as many excellent players who were unable to carry their team on their backs have come and gone in the NBA.
More recently, Booker scored 37 points against Oklahoma City Thunder, proving that he is willing to keep putting the effort in. Moreover, his record-breaking feat has set a higher bar for his teammates and competition, which should inevitably bring some positive energy into the NBA.