KEY POINTS

  • Devin Booker will need more help to replicate their 2021 NBA Finals run, according to IMG Academy's director
  • Picking up new talent to help the All-Star guard is a must for the Suns, bestselling Michael Jordan biographer says
  • The Suns need to retool, charge their 2021 NBA Finals loss to experience and grow stronger, according to Booker

The Phoenix Suns fell short of winning the NBA title after falling to the Milwaukee Bucks in game 6 of the 2021 NBA Finals. One of the players who was visibly disappointed over the loss was Devin Booker.

“This isn’t something you want to feel. I haven’t felt a hurt like this in my life,” Booker was quoted as saying following their loss by Euro Hoops. “So, that’s what I say when I know we have a base and a foundation, just championship basketball at all times.”

Weighing in on Booker's performance and statement, bestselling author Roland Lazenby told Filipino journalist Brian Yalung that the two-time All-Star will need the right help if the Suns want to at least reach the NBA Finals again.

"Devin Booker is a supremely disappointed young man. He shows lots of character, however. It will depend on what teammates he has going forward. He has a great coach and good players around him. We shall see," Lazenby, who has covered NBA greats such as Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant, said in an exclusive chat with Yalung.

Regardless, IMG Academy director Daniel J. Barto said he believes that Booker will be a future Hall of Famer. But for him to lead the Suns, Phoenix would need to add more quality players. Without naming them, Barto suggested that the Suns could bring in some of Booker's “friends.”

"Devin will be a Hall of Famer. As he adds muscle, he moves into the same position [Giannis Antetokounmpo] was in.  Plus, the Suns will bring in a couple of his friends!" the IMG associate director said in a separate exclusive conversation with the Filipino journalist.

Whoever the “friends” Barto was referring to remains to be seen. The Suns could also be looking to cash in and get some new blood this summer, but there have been no names suggested so far.

Regardless, Booker knows they already have a good foundation, and adding the right pieces will be needed. The loss was a learning experience for him and the Suns, and the only plausible thing to do right now is move forward.

“We have a foundation, we have a base for us to learn from, an experience for us to learn from. But there's no moral winners in our locker room,” Booker was quoted by Yahoo Sports as saying after game 6.

“Championship basketball, and nothing less than that,” he added of what Phoenix coach Monty Williams expects from the team moving forward. “So, going into next season on a Tuesday night playing against Cleveland if we don't have it, we will be quickly reminded about the details and if you don't want to give it your all right now, what can happen and this feeling right now that we're feeling can happen.”

Devin Booker #1 of the Phoenix Suns Devin Booker #1 of the Phoenix Suns Photo: Getty Images | Jonathan Daniel