Let’s all be honest with ourselves. As Arizona sports fans we have an inferiority complex. It’s not worth denying it. It’s on full display in the fact that we’ll more often than not think about Robert Horry, Santonio Holmes and our failures as much as we’ll think about the joy of the 2001 Diamondbacks.
It’s this inferiority complex that pushes to reach for things that aren’t there like Uncle Jesse continuing to pretend he was a rock star on “Full House”. It’s why we were so quick to think the dumpster fire of a D-backs team could be a contender this year and why we assumed that the answer to “all or nothing?” for the Cardinals was obviously all.
Which brings us to Devin Booker. After spending his rookie year around him and getting to know him, Book is a kid I feel will have a very good NBA career and potentially even a great one. What bothers me is the fact that some fans are projecting their desperation for a star and success on the 19 year old. They’re so consumed by the desire to no longer be losers that they’ll take a 34 point preseason performance as if it was a triple-double in Game 7 of the NBA Finals.
This tweet in particular struck me as more over the top than the acting in a daytime soap opera.
The Legend of 1996:
June '96: Nash drafted to save Suns.
Aug '96: Suns legend Barkley exits.
Oct '96: Suns legend Devin Booker is born.
— Phoenix Suns Insider (@InsiderSuns) October 8, 2016
Dear Internet, slow your roll.
The road to the Ring of Honor is a long and winding one. Plenty have started down that path only to find more than a few obstacles impede them along the way. Injuries, failed potential, off court temptations, being lured away by the siren songs of another team and more have all derailed plenty of talented Suns who may have been “destined” for legendary status. Anyone remember the hype around Richard Dumas during the finals run? Or how Amare was destined to be the greatest power forward ever after his performance against Duncan and the Spurs in the Western Conference Finals? Heck, even Nash failed to live up to the hype during his first stint in Phoenix. He had to go to Dallas and have Mark Cuban insult him before growing into the legend he became.
I’m not saying Booker won’t travel the path and join other Suns legends in the rafters at the end of it. What I am saying is let’s not project our desperate nature for a true superstar in this town on the kid before it’s time. Even if an “insider” seems to think a great preseason performance is all they need to see.