There is no more extraordinary achievement in professional sports than representing your country, especially in the Olympics. That is, at least for most athletes. This year has been very tough and busy for NBA players, as the tight schedule being followed straight by the Olympics and a short turnaround for next season has caused many big names to back out and stay home.
Still, the USA Team, as always, has managed to form a great group led by the likes of Kevin Durant, Damian Lillard, and most notably, the young rising star Devin Booker. Booker is in a middle of a fantastic playoff run, as his Phoenix Suns just clinched their first Finals appearance since 1993 by beating the Clippers in six games. The duo of Devin Booker and Chris Paul has exceeded all expectations in their first season together, shocking the NBA world and bringing themselves into a great position to win their first rings.
But the Finals berth has raised the question if Booker will be able to participate in the Olympics. Fortunately for the USA team, their managing director Jerry Colangelo calmed down all the fans and shared what Booker told him just a few weeks ago:
“(Booker) called me maybe three weeks ago and said, ‘I just want to reiterate how much I would love to be on that Olympic team. I’ll do whatever you ask me to do. He said, ‘And if we have a great run in the playoffs and we’re in the finals, I’ll jump on a plane the day after the last game and I’ll be there. You can count on me. When you have that kind of attitude, that kind of says it all.”Jerry Colangelo, via Doug & Wolf
Considering the eventual Game 7 will be played on the 22nd of June, and the Olympics open the very next day, this seemed like an unlikely chain of events. Still, Booker is motivated and locked in to represent his country. A very admirable decision from Booker, who will go straight from a long and hard playoff run, in which he broke his nose along the way to a plane for Tokyo. Considering he is so young at 24 years old, full of confidence, and in the best form of his life, this will be no problem for Booker, as he will try to help his country win gold once again. That is some Mamba mentality.
Want to stay up to date with the latest news and reactions? Download our NBA news feed for breaking news, live stats, and game coverage.