Curiosity leads to great questions in the NBA. They are usually along the lines of how would this player play in this particular era. Is this player better than this one? The most famous one ‘LeBron James or Michael Jordan‘? The one we’re going to discuss about today, is Booker the Next Kobe Bryant?
Is Devin Booker the Next Kobe Bryant?
"Finish the job. That's what he'd tell me" – Devin Booker on what Kobe would say to him pic.twitter.com/cTSKSAVbHM
— Kobe Highlights & Motivation (@kobehighlight) July 9, 2021
The comparison is an easy one to make. They are both shooting guards. Both drafted at 13th in their respective drafts. Both played in teams who played in the Pacific Divisions.
But here are where the likeness stars to get more real. Kobe came in at the age of 18 and Booker in 19. Kobe Bryant scored 81 points in a single game in 2006. Since then, the only person to even get close to that has been Devin Booker with his 70 points in 2017.
Also past the statistics, Booker feels like an older Kobe on the eye test. He possess the footwork that made Kobe so lethal. When you watch Booker in the post, pulling up on defenders, it feels Kobe-esque. That makes all the Kobe and Booker comparisons easy.
But just because they give off the same aura, are they really alike?
Kobe Bryant did not just possess the offensive tools that made him this great. He was also an elite level defender. He made 12 All-defensive teams in his 20 year career. Devin Booker does not even show signs of being as good as Kobe on the defensive end. The reason Kobe was compared to Jordan for so many years was because he possessed the complete game of his. Defensively and offensively.
That makes Devin just someone in a long line of players that could become the next Kobe but fall just short.
.@ShannonSharpe on whether Devin Booker is similar to Kobe Bryant:
"Kobe at 25 had already gone to 4 Finals and won 3 championships. I don't think we're saying Booker is one of the 2 or 3 best players in the NBA. He's not going to finish close to Kobe." pic.twitter.com/DdlEnhB16f
— UNDISPUTED (@undisputed) July 9, 2021
Are the Booker-Kobe Comparisons Fair?
The question always arises as to who will wear the mantle of Kobe next? There are players who resemble Kobe’s game. Like Demar Derozan and Zach Lavine. Even Jayson Tatum was a lifelong Kobe Fan and Kobe himself gave Tatum private workouts. But what sets Devin Booker apart from the rest of the pack is his affinity to Kobe.
He wants to be like Kobe the same way Kobe wanted to be like Jordan. His game did not have a Kobe presence naturally, but it was something Booker worked on. Kobe was fond of Devin and Devin Loved Kobe. From Tattoo to shoe collections, Devin has everything Kobe.
The question of fairness is nothing considering Devin Booker invites the comparisons. Will Devin be as good Kobe was? It’s too early to say. He has been amazing so far and could become his own mold of player. He already has everyone’s attention and can only continue to Wow the world even further.