As Team USA struggled to defeat Turkey in its FIBA World Cup match on Tuesday, the world of NBA Twitter saw a minor dispute pop up between Bill Simmons and Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker.
a play in three acts pic.twitter.com/O4tApULC5F
— Matt Carey (@RealMattCarey) September 3, 2019
Things started with Simmons previously taking a handful of shots at both Landry Shamet and Booker on Twitter. Simmons sent off two tweets that were jabs at the players – both of whom either withdrew from Team USA play or declined to play – by mocking the fact that they weren’t playing with NBA players and coaches.
Later in the game, however, Booker was able to get in some minor retaliation when Jayson Tatum left the game with an injury. While Simmons seemed worried about the issue, Booker quoted the tweet, offering up a simple message of his prayers along with the tweet.
It’s worth noting here that Bill Simmons is a noted Boston Celtics fans.
Prayers up🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼 https://t.co/5bwba3hC0W
— Book (@DevinBook) September 3, 2019
While many will see this as Booker throwing shade Simmons’ way, it’s also a real reflection of why so many players likely pulled out of Team USA play. Playing for your country in a place like the FIBA World Cup is a huge honor, but some players would rather spend the offseason training and not going through a grueling schedule of overseas play and risking injuries.
Whether or not Booker was right or wrong in declining play, it seems as if today’s Team USA game was a perfect example of why he skipped out. While the team needed Turkey missing four consecutive free throws in order to win, another young player in the league walked away with an injury. For Devin Booker, that’s likely all the reasoning needed to skip out, and instead focus on the Suns upcoming season.