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Devin Booker knows young Suns team still needs to earn respect from the refs after loss to Raptors

Devin Booker, Suns

The Phoenix Suns were minutes from pulling off the unthinkable, holding a 95-87 advantage in the fourth quarter against the Toronto Raptors, only to see the lead evaporate as tempers flared and Josh Jackson earned his second technical foul of the quarter, resulting in his ejection. The ejection proved to be a game-changer, as the Raptors stormed back to win at the last second with a Pascal Siakam lefty layup.

Jackson’s second technical was the byproduct of him complaining to the officials by forcefully fouling Chris Boucher — hoping to make a statement after the officials swallowed their whistle in a play where new teammate Kelly Oubre Jr. was fouled under the basket — a gamble that resulted in his ejection.

Devin Booker knows Jackson feels the Suns didn’t get the respect from the officials, but unlike the younger Jackson, he know his team must earn it first:

“We’re looking for respect that we have to earn still, and we realize that,” said Booker, according to Gina Mizell of The Athletic. “We’re at the bottom of the West. They’re at the top of the East. We can come in and complain about calls every game, but nobody respects us. And we should know that by now. Everybody knows that.

“If you’re not one of those top teams, you’re gonna have to work for (favorable foul calls).”

The Suns are starting three rookies and their best player just turned 22 years old, having neither the NBA experience nor the clout to make demands of the officials. As unfair as it is, it’s how the league has been for many years, and something Booker has learned to take religiously, hoping to learn from these situations until he builds enough of a reputation to garner a good whistle.

If Jackson is paying attention, he will learn the same in the near future.