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Devin Booker Sounds Off on Kobe Bryant Comparison, Mamba Mentality

Sports Illustrated
Sports Illustrated
 2022-01-15

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The Phoenix star says he's inspired by the late Lakers legend and the iconic phrase, Mamba mentality.

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Devin Booker has continued to make headlines recently for a variety of reasons, such as his girlfriend, Kendall Jenner, posting on Twitter about wanting to see him play in the All-Star game and when he was jokingly beefing with the Raptors mascot .

Although he told reporters following Friday's 112-94 victory over the Pacers that he and the mascot are “homies now,” that was not the biggest moment from his postgame interview. The final question was about how social media can take things too far with the Phoenix star, specifically when comparing him to the late Kobe Bryant.

“I'm really enjoying this, and I always have enjoyed social media,” Booker said . “I check it daily, and when they're saying good things about it, I don't get too high, I don't get too low on it. The only problem I have is people still comparing me to Kobe Bryant when I told them in the playoffs stop bringing up Mamba mentality. I'm inspired by Kobe Bryant and Mamba mentality, but I am not Kobe Bryant.”

He paused, ending with the following before walking out: “And people are out here yelling Mamba mentality from their mama's house. I'll leave you with that.”

Bryant spent 20 seasons in the league, earning 18 All-Star selections, two scoring titles, one MVP award and five NBA titles. And now, some say Booker bares a resemblance to how the legend played.

Over the span of 34 games this season, the 25-year-old is averaging 23.7 points, 5.4 rebounds and 4.4 assists per game. He’s hitting 43.7% of his shots from the field and 40.9% from 3-point range. Booker has helped power the Suns to the best record in the Western Conference (32-9), as they have won the last five of six games.

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