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Devin Booker wants comparisons to Kobe Bryant to stop


Suns star Devin Booker has been constantly compared to the late NBA great Kobe Bryant, but he sees it as a “problem” after complaining that a team mascot was distracting him in the game.

MANILA, Philippines — After leading the Phoenix Suns to a 112-94 victory over the Indiana Pacers on Friday, January 14 (Saturday, January 15, Manila time), All-Star guard Devin Booker sounded off on his growing comparisons to the late, great NBA legend Kobe Bryant.

Booker, who exploded for 35 points in the win, sees comparisons to Bryant as a “problem” and would rather his name not be associated with the Black Mamba and the Mamba Mentality mindset.

“I’ve always loved social media. I check it daily. When they say good things about me, I don’t go too high or go too low,” Booker said.

“The only problem I have is that people still compare me to Kobe Bryant when I told them during the playoffs to stop bringing up Mamba Mentality.”

It comes after Booker became a hot topic on social media following his backlash over a Toronto Raptors mascot who was seen distracting him as he shot from the free throw line.

Fans then quickly compared Booker to Bryant, saying the latter would never complain about a mascot and would ask a referee to send a mascot out of his sight.

“I’m inspired by Kobe Bryant and Mamba Mentality, but I’m not Kobe Bryant,” he said.

Booker, 25, who led the Suns to an NBA Finals appearance last season, is also known for his mentor-mentee relationship with Hall of Famer Bryant.

In March 2016, before Bryant’s last game, Booker received a pair of the Los Angeles Lakers superstar’s signed Nike Kobe 11 sneakers with the phrase “Be Legendary” written on them.

Since Bryant’s untimely death in 2020, Booker has worn Bryant’s signature Nike sneakers during games and channeled his inner Mamba mentality, as seen during his historic playoff run in 2021, where he collected averaged 27.3 points, 5.6 rebounds and 4.5 assists.

This season, Booker is averaging 23.7 points, 5.4 rebounds and 4.4 assists for the Suns, who top the league standings with an impressive 32-9 record. – Rappler.com