by Alex Poletti
Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images
After two years of playing All-Star-level basketball, Devin Booker has finally been recognized. The Phoenix Suns shooting guard was selected to replace Damian Lillard for Team LeBron following the Portland star’s injury. For his success, Booker credited God, his work ethic and his decision to smash Damian Lillard’s knee caps with a baseball bat.
“I’d like to thank everyone who got me this far,” Booker said in an Instagram post on Friday. “To my family, thank you for being with me every step of the way. I want to thank my coaches for believing in me. And most importantly, I want to shout out 4chan user Dame_hater0 for finding Damian Lillard’s home address for me.”
Booker has been on the outside looking in before, getting snubbed for All-Star honors during his 2018-2019 campaign in which he averaged 26.6 points per game. It seemed that he’d spend another year off the court during the All-Star game this season, but a freak injury to Lillard changed that.
“Yeah, I don’t know what happened to Dame,” Booker says, suddenly sweating bullets. “It’s a shame that someone took a 34-inch aluminum baseball bat to each of his knees. Or whatever happened, not that I know or was there or anything.”
While Booker’s involvement in the accident that led to Devin Booker’s injury is not confirmed, he has been placed outside Lillard’s Lake Oswego home at 2 a.m. on the night in question, walking off the premises wearing a ski mask and carrying a baseball bat.
So far this season, the 23-year-old has averaged 26 and 6 over 52 games. His efforts on the court have been largely in vain, however, as his team sits 11 games below .500 with the 12th seed in the Western Conference.
Despite not playing in the main event, Booker has participated in All-Star weekend festivities each of his five years in the NBA. He’s a three-time participant in the three-point contest, and he won the event in 2018. He also played in the Rising Stars game as both a first- and second-year player.
“It’s hard being so close to the game and not being able to play in it,” Booker says. “It really makes you crazy. I could see how that could drive someone to do something violent. Something the average person might not understand. But something very, very necessary.”
Booker is likely to get a shot to play some minutes for Team LeBron, though he is not in the starting lineup. However, if the police investigation into Lillard’s injuries leads back to Booker within the next few days, he may lose another chance at his All-Star dream.