The Phoenix Suns won their first playoff series since 2010, eliminating the defending NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers with a 113-100 victory in Game 6 on Thursday night.
Devin Booker has a tattoo on his forearm of the message that Kobe Bryant wrote for him on a pair of shoes after they faced each other at Staples Center six years ago: « Be legendary. »
Back in the house his idol built with a chance to secure his first team playoff success, Booker put on a performance worthy of the Black Mamba’s legend and propelled the Phoenix Suns onward in the postseason.
Booker scored 22 of his 47 points in a phenomenal first quarter, and the Suns won their first playoff series since 2010, eliminating the defending NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers with a 113-100 victory in Game 6 on Thursday night.
After hitting eight 3-pointers, grabbing 11 rebounds and going a stunning 15 for 22 from the field, Booker cast his eyes up at Bryant’s two retired numbers as he left the floor amid the cheers from a small, vocal road rooting section. Kobe is never far from Booker’s mind on the court, but his breakthrough playoff game felt like a testimonial to Booker.
« Honestly, I was thinking about Kobe and the conversations we had, » Booker said. « About what we went through, and the postseason, and being legendary and taking the steps to get there. Seeing that 8 and 24 up there, with the lighting Staples has, it’s like it was shining down on you. I know he was here tonight, and I know he was proud. »
Afterwards in the arena tunnel, Booker got a signed jersey from another hero and mentor, LeBron James, who could only marvel at his up-and-coming friend’s brilliance in Game 6.
"I know he was here tonight, I know he was in the building, I know he was proud"
Devin Booker had Kobe in his thoughts after the Suns' Game 6 win 🙏
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) June 4, 2021