Suns' Devin Booker Says 'There's Zero Ego' with Chris Paul in Their Relationship

Tyler Conway@@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist IVJuly 1, 2021

Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker, left, and guard Chris Paul, center, celebrate as head coach Monty Williams looks on as time runs out in Game 6 of the NBA basketball Western Conference Finals against the Los Angeles Clippers Wednesday, June 30, 2021, in Los Angeles. The Suns won the game 130-103 to take the series 4-2. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill

Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker says the key to his relationship with Chris Paul has been both playing without ego and a commitment to winning above all individual accolades. 

"There's zero ego involved. I think that's the most important part. We both want to see each other succeed, we both want the team to succeed," Booker told reporters Wednesday after the Suns advanced to their first NBA Finals since 1993.

Paul and Booker have traded off star turns throughout the Suns' postseason run, with the 16-year veteran stepping up with 41 points and eight assists in Wednesday's Game 6 win over the Los Angeles Clippers. Booker had poured in 40 of his own in a Game 1 victory Paul missed because of COVID-19 protocols.

While it's easy to say no ego exists as you're on the brink of an NBA Finals berth, the circumstances of Booker and Paul's career likely made them committed to their partnership working.

Booker spent his first five seasons languishing on non-playoff teams, garnering a reputation as a star who puts up empty stats on bad teams. Paul is one of the greatest point guards in NBA history but was shipped to Oklahoma City in 2019 seemingly as damaged goods then traded again last offseason after a resurgent campaign with the Thunder.

The days of Paul competing for an elusive championship appeared over. Instead, he found a hungry young roster in Phoenix desperate to compete at the top of the sport and helped reshape the Suns on the fly, with Booker serving as his willing co-star every step of the way.

With both the Milwaukee Bucks and Atlanta Hawks damaged by injuries to their star players, the Suns will likely walk into the Finals as significant favorites. Not bad for a team that hadn't made the playoffs in the decade before Paul's arrival.