Booker Dedicates Championship Performance to Suns Fans

by Cody Cunningham

“I’m disappointed, but I will be back,” said a 19-year-old rookie in 2016. “I’m sorry I couldn’t bring home a win for you guys, but I’ll be back next year and get one.”

Fast-forward to 2018 and Devin Booker returned to the JBL Three-Point Contest with a vengeance. 

Booker’s first round started a little slow, but he strategically placed the money ball rack in the final corner which helped round his total out to 19 points.

“I thought I was going to be out, but it’s a wildcard with that rack, honestly,” Booker said. “It’s hard to shoot off the rack, as you can see." 

His 19 points would tie him with Klay Thompson for the most in the round as the two advanced with Tobias Harris to the Championship.

Booker has been known to catch fire in the past, including setting the Suns franchise record 28 points in a single quarter, twice. But even with that said, his Championship Round performance was something incredible.

Former Three-Point Champion Thompson scored 25 points, which would normally be enough to win, but not this year. Booker came out firing from the start and finished with an NBA Record 28 total points.

This means that in the 32 years of three-point contests, nobody has ever scored more than the 21-year-old from Phoenix.

Devin Booker JBL Three-Point Contest Championship Round

“I’m really excited about it,” Booker said. “I always want to represent the city the best I can with the support they’ve always shown for me since day one.”

Just like he promised in 2016, Booker came out with the fans in mind and won the Championship for them. 

“Our season hasn’t been the brightest part of our year,” Booker said. “I know the fans have been behind us 100% throughout the whole time. So I know they’re going to be excited about this.”

Booker is the first Suns player to win the contest since Quentin Richardson in 2005 and now joins the list of all the legendary shooters who have held up the same trophy.

“It’s a big deal,” Booker said. “Knowing the history of the three-point shootout, all the legends of the game that have been in it from Peja Stojakovic, Larry Bird. I’m glad my name can be mentioned with those guys." 

It may have taken one extra year, but for Booker and the city of Phoenix, it was all worth the wait.

“I feel really good, really excited,” Booker said. “After I took third my rookie year, something I always wanted was to win the three-point championship, and I got it.”

As for next year, could the sharp-shooter have different plans for Statefarm All-Star Saturday Night?

“Yeah, I’m going dunk contest next,” Booker said with a smile. “No I’m just kidding. Hopefully I can come back and maybe win it again.”