Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker is rewarding a Suns fan who was involved in an altercation with two Denver Nuggets fans during Phoenix's road win over Denver in Game 3 of their second-round playoff series.
According to ESPN's Zach Lowe, Booker asked for help identifying the Suns fan, and he was later informed that his name is Nick McKellar. Both Booker's representatives and McKellar have confirmed that Booker and the Suns are sending him a signed Booker jersey and tickets to a Western Conference Finals game.
The fight, which occurred late in Game 3, was caught on video and went viral. McKellar hit a Nuggets fan several times after getting sucker-punched and then threw a punch at another man who tried to intervene. McKellar then said, "Suns in four," as the two Nuggets fans left:
In response, Booker tweeted a photo of McKellar with the following message:
As McKellar predicted, the Suns did go on to sweep the Nuggets, and they are awaiting their opponent in the Western Conference Finals.
Per Lowe, McKellar said he was having "good-natured trash talk" with Nuggets fans sitting near him throughout Game 3 and that he only threw the punches while defending himself, which witnesses corroborated.
It was also noted by Lowe that McKellar is a lifelong Suns fan who lives in Denver, which is why he was present for Game 3 at Ball Arena in the Mile High City.
While it has been a tough go for Suns fans in recent years, they are now just four wins away from reaching the NBA Finals for the first time since 1993.
Prior to this season, the Suns hadn't made the playoffs since 2010, but things changed with the arrival of future Hall of Fame point guard Chris Paul, who joined forces with Booker, Deandre Ayton and Mikal Bridges to help the team finish with the second-best record in the NBA during the regular season.
Paul is expected to miss some time due to COVID-19 health and safety protocols, meaning Booker may need to put the team on his back until CP3 returns.
Booker is no stranger to doing that, as he led the team with 25.6 points per game this season while adding 4.3 assists and 4.2 rebounds as well.
In the Western Conference Finals, the Suns will face the winner of the second-round series between the Los Angeles Clippers and Utah Jazz.
L.A. holds a 3-2 series lead after winning Wednesday's Game 5. The Suns will host Game 1 of the conference finals if the Clippers finish the job, while the Jazz will be the host team in Game 1 if they can overcome the 3-2 series deficit against the Clips.