Wednesday night saw a scuffle between the Memphis Grizzlies and Phoenix Suns with Troy Daniels and Devin Booker at the epicenter.
Daniels gets fouled by Booker, hits a three and then six players received technicals for the mess that ensued: Daniels and JaMychal Green, and Booker, Tyler Ulis, Alan Williams and Marquese Chriss. On top that, Chriss, Ulis and Daniels were all ejected and Suns center Alex Len is likely to get suspended after coming off the bench and joining the “fight.”
Why is this a big deal? Well, it’s not really, but Booker’s post game comments were shocking because he doesn’t seem like the kind of kid who would say what he said.
Compared to what used to get said in past decades, this is incredibly tame. Just ask anyone whoever’s been talked to be Gary Payton.
— TBN (@TBNMedia) February 9, 2017
“He’s been on five teams in three years and he has the nerve to talk trash to me,” said Booker. I don’t have an issue with these comments, and while some may think he should’ve kept his mouth shut, it could’ve gone way further than that. Booker had the awareness to keep it strictly to basketball — he didn’t attack Daniels’ family or his character. What he said isn’t 100 percent true because it’s four teams in three years, but it’s still the basketball equivalent to Jay Z saying Nas only puts out one hot album every 10 years.
Judging from the video, it appears that Daniels may have antagonized Booker after he nailed his three, but I’m not sure if there was chirping going on before that.
After Daniels makes that shot, the Grizzlies are up 18 with 70 seconds left, why are you talking? I get that it was a big shot, but it wasn’t momentum swinging or a crowd silencer, and he also wasn’t even the best player for Memphis that night.
He had a solid outing with 14 points on 5-of-11 shooting, but Mike Conley and Marc Gasol were the difference-makers who combined for 42 points on 13-of-21 shooting. Booker, on the other hand, had 20 but had little help outside of Brandon Knight and Eric Bledsoe.
Talking trash to someone who’s outplaying you, even though your team is winning, is mind-boggling to me. If the circumstances of the shot were different, this conversation would also be different. It would be universally acceptable for Daniels to talk if that shot was game-tying or a dagger with little time left on the clock.
“But Zach, Daniels has played in a playoff series and actually hit a game-winner in a postseason game, so he has the right to chirp.” That shot came back in 2014, and it was certainly impressive, but let’s not forget he was on a team with James Harden and Dwight Howard. Outside of that, he didn’t produce much and seldom saw the court for Game 7.
This Suns team is nowhere near the caliber of that Rockets team, and they’re also not even close to this year’s Grizzlies. If Booker’s frustrated, so be it, but he’d do a lot of damage on a team with an established superstar.
Wherever you stand on this topic, just let the players play. They’re men and just because they work together doesn’t mean everything needs to be sunshine and rainbows.
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