Devin Booker is slowly but surely making a name for himself, especially now in the first NBA playoffs and Finals of his career. We were able to see firsthand what makes him one of the most gifted offensive players on the league's grandest stage fighting for the title. In the last year or two, people started comparing Booker to the late great Kobe Bryant in terms of their playing style and immense similarity between the two.
It's no secret Booker constantly looked for advice from Kobe, and they often worked out together in the summer. Bryant mentored Booker, and the result of that is evident in the way he plays the game. However, Booker himself doesn't think he needs to be compared to Kobe. In an interview with Richard Jefferson at the press conference today, Booker said he never wants to be compared to Kobe Bryant even though he appreciates all the things Kobe taught him throughout the years.
I haven't really thought about it much. I know it's something everyone has going on right now, and I didn't make that comparison myself. I just leave at what he's done for me as a mentor and the advice he left me with, so I try to take bits and pieces of his mentality and approach, but I should never be compared to Kobe Bryant.
Devin Booker, NBA on ESPN
If you look at Booker on offense, the eye test doesn't lie; the similarity with Kobe is tremendous. Booker's repertoire of moves on offense is elite, and he transformed himself into a true bucket getter with numerous ways of hurting you. He will definitely need to channel his own mamba mentality in tomorrow's Game 6 against the Bucks, a must-win for them if they want to win a championship.
There is a lot of pressure on Booker to deliver, and from everything we've seen so far, there is no question he will do everything he can to lead the Suns offensively and look for ways to go for 40 or 50 points. Obviously, others will also need to step up, but it's up to Booker to lead the charge and leadership that differentiates good players and the great ones.