Skip to main content

Devin Booker Speaks on Kobe Bryant, NBA 2K23 Cover Nod

Booker sat down with USA Today's Cameron Tabatabaie and touched on a variety of topics.

Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker has been living life lately. 

Last week saw Booker land a four-year, $214 million contract extension while also being announced as a cover athlete for NBA 2K23.

And, to top it all off, his friends over at Nike extended their partnership through 2029. 

A video of Booker chilling in a bath tub (in the middle of a club) went viral, and to be quite honest, who wouldn't be feeling themselves after a tremendous stretch of days like that?

(You can view that video here, but please be aware of some NSFW language before it plays)

Booker recently sat down with USA Today's Cameron Tabatabaie in a great interview that touched on a variety of topics from what it means to be a 2K cover athlete to his inspiration from Kobe Bryant, among other topics. 

Devin Booker Speaks on Kobe Bryant, 2K Cover and More

NBA 2K23 Cover Honors

"It’s been quite some time. It’s not something they do quickly," said Booker on the process of making the cover happen. 

"We did the photoshoot during the season. Obviously for me, it’s a bucket list thing that I’ve always had. Honestly, the top of the bucket list. Just having a connection with gaming and the game 2K, playing it my entire life. To grace the cover and to understand the magnitude of it and what comes with it is everything I signed up for.

"It’s the first time they did a proper photoshoot for it. Looking back at the covers, usually, they just grab a photo off of Getty Images and put the art behind it. So it’s really groundbreaking what we did, and I think moving forward they’ll do that every time now. Just the color scheme, including Phoenix, it’s fire."

Booker will share cover duties with Michael Jordan, Sue Bird and Diana Taurasi for the upcoming release. All legends in the game, and Booker says he's simply ecstatic to be in the same conversation as them.

"I haven’t worked with them in the past, but I’ve been around (Taurasi) for a while in Phoenix and have the utmost respect for her. I call her the GOAT. Michael Jordan the same, and I feel the same way about Sue Bird. Just to be mentioned with those names and share this moment together is unbelievable," said Booker. 

Kobe Bryant's Impact

The impact the late Kobe Bryant has had on players such as Booker can't be understated. The words passed down from Bryant ("Be Legendary") have become synonymous with the Suns shooting guard, and are now famously inscribed by Booker on his own shoes on the court (which are Kobe's). 

Devin Booker shoes

Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum also shares a similar admiration for Bryant, which has brought some outside noise and rumblings from fans.

"We both love him a lot. The thing about that, I’ll elaborate on that. I see (Tatum) getting hate just representing Kobe and being inspired by him. But Kobe always said his one job is to inspire the next generation — that’s what he’s done for us," Booker said.

"He is gonna live forever in this game and not even just in basketball. Just his approach to life and how he’s changed and shaped so many people. I think it’s foolish for people to give hate to somebody like me or Jayson representing one of our idols."

Booker hopes to one day leave a similar imprint, and while that first championship with Phoenix remains elusive, it's obvious his grip on the next generation of basketball is already starting to mold. 

Thank you for making Inside The Suns your destination for Phoenix Suns news. Please be sure to give us a like on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter @InsideTheSunsSI for more news, updates, analysis and more!

Top Phoenix Suns News

Suns Sloppy in Summer League Loss to Wizards

Deandre Ayton: Updates on FA Status

Four Standout Players From Suns First Summer League Game

Despite Silence, Suns Still Favored to Land Kevin Durant

Devin Booker, Nike Agree to Extension

Frank Kaminsky Signs With Hawks

Devin Booker Officially Reaches Contract Extension

Get to Know Suns' Summer League Roster

Do Suns Need to Acquire Kevin Durant?

Suns Acquire Center Jock Landale in Trade

Phoenix Suns Sign SG Josh Okogie