Last night was the perfect encapsulation of what the Suns are right now. Underdeveloped, cocky and starry-eyed. They are, after all, the youngest team in the NBA. And they acted like it. The day after New Year's Eve, on the road against the best team in the NBA, the Suns were down 43-17 after the first quarter. And just like any older brother does after punking their younger sibling, the Lakers got bored, started playing with their food, and let the Suns cut the lead to 7 in the second half. Of course, LeBron James and Anthony Davis to stop the bleeding when it mattered.
Last night was truly Boyz II Men, as the Lakers, the second oldest team in the NBA with an average age of 28.7, punked the self-proclaimed "Valley Boyz," with an average age of 24.3.
My question is, when does Devin Booker decide having fun with his bros is no longer fulfilling? Every guy in America gets to Devin Booker's age, 23, and makes this decision: To keep living with seven of your closest bros in a 4-bedroom house paying $300 a month in rent and living off Lucky Charms and Bud Light, or to finally get your own place, for the good of your career and well-being. Those who break free from the pack know, it's one or the other, no in between. Because as seriously as you take the job or the girl, the minute you see Brad playing COD: Modern Warfare, you know you're powerless to the living room for the next six hours. Does Booker even know he has the power to make that decision?
The city of Phoenix gave Robert Sarver and the Suns $150 million to renovate Talking Stick Resort Arena. Sarver put in $80 million of his own money. When that thing's done, putting butts in seats will be the highest priority. Devin Booker should know, when it comes to Suns basketball, it ain't Monty Williams, it ain't Deandre Ayton, it ain't lead Valley Boy Kelly Oubre. Booker's the main attraction. He's got the power. If he wants to move out of that 4-bedroom bro pad, all he has to do is demand it from Sarver and James Jones. All Booker would have to say is, "Guys, I've put up with a lot. I saw the report that the Warriors are monitoring my friend Karl-Anthony Towns. If they can put an offer on the table, so can we."
Last night was one of those moments, like when you stop by the bro pad during your lunch break, only to find Chet and Ryan, 24 and 25-years old respectively, beer-bonging, live on Twitch. You stop, look around and say, "I'm surrounded by children." Devin Booker, down 26 after the first quarter, had to have that realization.
Going into last night, the Suns were 2.5 games back from the 8-seed, finally building momentum after beating the Kings and Trailblazers, and knew they were up against the league's Goliath. Everyone seemed to get how big that moment was, except for the Valley Boyz.