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Devin Booker Talks Chris Paul, Suns' Title Expectations, Kobe Bryant, More

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistApril 25, 2021

Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker (1) against the Houston Rockets during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Monday, April 12, 2021, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York)
Matt York/Associated Press

The Phoenix Suns have exceeded all expectations so far this season, but Devin Booker believes this is just the beginning. 

The two-time All-Star recently discussed his year and his plans going forward with ESPN's Malika Andrews:

Malika Andrews @malika_andrews

Devin Booker tells ESPN that the Suns are not just looking to be a feel good story and make the first or second round of the playoffs: “We're trying to win it all.” Our conversation on his Starting Five program, Chris Paul MVP, Kobe and more: https://t.co/dH6XY2qRog

Phoenix entered Sunday with the second-best record in the NBA at 42-17, which should be enough to earn a playoff spot for the first time since 2010. 

"Keeping winning basketball games," the 24-year-old guard said of his expectations for what comes next. "Focus on winning, not winning just to make the playoffs, not winning just to get to the first round or second round. We're trying to win it all."

The Suns had been far from contenders during Booker's first five seasons in the league, but the mindset changed after adding point guard Chris Paul in the offseason. 

"I'm inspired by him in so many different ways," Booker said of Paul.

He also believes his veteran teammate should be a contender for the MVP award if the Suns continue to climb up the standings. Booker is the Suns' leading scorer at 25.1 points per game compared to just 16.0 per game from Paul, but it's the veteran who apparently has a greater overall impact.

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"It's bigger than the numbers with Chris," Booker explained. "People have to understand, his effect isn't just his points and his assists. It's keeping people in line, leading every day. That alone should have him in the MVP conversation every single year."

Paul might not have ever won a title, but he has made the playoffs in each of the last 10 years with four different organizations and looks ready to continue the streak with a fifth team.

Booker has also gotten inspiration from another all-time great in Kobe Bryant.

An autograph during Bryant's final season led to Booker getting a tattoo on his arm that says: "Be Legendary." The Suns star said he is impacted by this "every single day."

"The days you don't feel like you have it, I look at my arm and see the tat and I'm like: 'Well, it's time to get it today. I don't care how you feel Book, you gotta be legendary today,'" he said.   

Booker said it's helped him both on and off the court as the Suns look to continue surprising people.  

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