Devin Booker's Game-Winner Reminiscent Of Kobe Bryant's Buzzer-Beaters
With the score tied at 115-115, Devin Booker drove left, planted onto his left foot, spun around and shot a fadeaway jumper at the buzzer that swished through the net to give the Phoenix Suns a 117-115 win over the Clippers on Tuesday at Walt Disney World near Orlando.
Kobe Bryant's name immediately started trending on Twitter.
Bryant, an 18-time All-Star, five-time champion, two-time Finals MVP and one-time regular season MVP in 2008, was famous for making incredibly tough, heavily defended, off-balance buzzer-beaters over his 20 seasons with the Lakers.
And that shot was reminiscent of Bryant's composure, style, audacity and fluidity.
Bryant is tied with Joe Johnson for the most regular season buzzer beaters in NBA history, finishing with seven, one ahead of Michael Jordan's six, according to The Ringer. He had eight total including the playoffs, when he made a game-winner over the Suns in 2006.
Booker, a shooting guard who is in his fifth season with the Suns, has long said that Bryant was his idol.
After Bryant died in a helicopter crash on Jan. 26, Booker was devastated.
“Before I even knew him personally, he had shaped my life," Booker told reporters on Jan. 28. "My basketball career. My approach to everything.”
In Bryant's final game against the Suns in March of 2016, Booker, a rookie, finished with 28 points, seven assists and a plus-23 rating.
Bryant asked to speak to him after the game and he gifted him a pair of shoes with a special message.
"Be legendary," he wrote.