Devin Booker hasn’t done much winning since reaching the NCAA’s Final Four during his lone year at Kentucky, winning 23, 24, and 20 games in each of his three seasons with the Phoenix Suns.
The losing has grown into a fact of life for the third-year phenom, who has evolved despite the team’s adversity, growing as a prospective All-Star talent.
This season, the Suns had lost a whopping 15 straight games before a win over the Sacramento Kings on Tuesday — making it a rough sight to behold.
“It’s hard man, honestly,” Booker said, according to Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated. “I was talking about it with [teammate] Tyson [Chandler]. It was probably the most disappointing [season] for me.”
“My first year, rookie year, I’m just trying to get a chance to play. Just trying to be out on the court so I got that opportunity, and I took advantage of it, came back the second year, and I was trying to solidify that I wasn’t just a backup plan starting minutes, doing well. So, I started my second year. We didn’t play that well, team-wise. And then this year, I thought it was going to be the year where we make that jump. And with so many things going on here, we fell super short. So, being a competitor, being a winner most of my whole life, it’s really hard.”
The Suns haven’t had much stability since Booker arrived, with coaching changes, an injury to Brandon Knight that sidelined him for the season, and the imminent departure of Eric Bledsoe to the Milwaukee Bucks.
Phoenix is still in line to finish with the worst record in the league, and therefore sport the best chances at garnering the No. 1 pick in the NBA Draft once the lottery approaches. That remains, perhaps, the best hope for a young Booker hoping to shake off the stench of losing games so often, like the Suns have in his first three seasons.