Suns star Devin Booker left everything out on the floor in Games 4 and 5 of the NBA Finals, becoming the first player in Finals history to lose back-to-back games despite scoring 40 or more points in both contests. Phoenix now finds itself in a do-or-die situation after three consecutive losses to Milwaukee.
So it’s easy to understand why the two-time All-Star was in no mood to entertain bad questions during his Saturday media availability.
After the Bucks’ 123-119 victory over the Suns, a reporter stunned Booker and his backcourt mate Chris Paul with a very odd inquiry. Here’s how the interaction played out:
Reporter: Obviously a really tough loss. Devin, how frustrated are you for Chris right now?
Booker: Next question, please.
So . . . uh . . . what exactly is going on here?
If the goal was to gauge Paul’s frustration level, then a more direct question to him would have worked. If the reporter was attempting to feel out the general vibe of the team and how it planned to respond, the question could have gone down that route.
Instead, both Booker and Paul were left stunned. It was a moment that felt reminiscent of the time LeBron James was asked about Kyrie Irving having zero assists in a 2015 playoff game.
As for how the Suns will handle their first elimination game of the postseason, Booker kept his answer simple: “Just embrace it.”
“We knew this wasn’t going to be easy. We didn’t expect it to be. It’s hard,” Paul added. “Coach [Monty Williams] said it all year long, everything we want is on the other side of hard and it don’t get no harder than this. So, we got to regroup, learn from this game, but it’s over. We got to get ready for Game 6.”
Hopefully the NBA Finals press corps will regroup and have a better showing, too.