Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James came out in vocal support of Phoenix Suns sharpshooter Devin Booker this week.
James referred to Booker as the most disrespected player in the NBA today after he was omitted from the 2021 NBA All-Star Game roster.
Ultimately, Booker did end up getting an All-Star nod as a replacement for Lakers big man Anthony Davis, but his initial exclusion coupled with James’ vocal support prompted many to ask a simple question.
Is Booker actually underrated?
Fox Sports radio broadcaster Colin Cowherd aimed to answer that question on his show Thursday.
In his estimation, the answer is pretty clearly no.
“People talk about Devin Booker being disrespected. Has he won multiple titles or been unanimous MVP? What has he done? Stephen Curry is completely disrespected.”
— Herd w/Colin Cowherd (@TheHerd) February 25, 2021
“Has Devin Booker won multiple titles?” he asked. “Has Devin Booker been a unanimous MVP? Devin Booker’s not disrespected, what’s he done? He’s just talented.”
As far as Cowherd is concerned, if you want a truly disrespected player, look no further than Golden State Warrior star Stephen Curry.
“Steph Curry’s completely disrespected,” he continued. “There’s only three players in basketball that have changed the game… Steph Curry changed how all of basketball is played. All of it. When you do a fast break now in basketball, even if you have a numbers advantage, you’re allowed to pull up for a three point shot.”
While Cowherd is known for being something of a rabblerouser, this take is a bad one even by his lofty standards.
LaMelo has found a nifty trick for picking up Instagram models. https://t.co/4y9uyWxlAe
— Game 7 (@game7__) February 25, 2021
Booker is currently averaging 24.7 points and 4.3 assists per outing while shooting 50 percent from the floor, 38 percent from three and 84 percent from the free-throw line. Beyond that, his squad has continued to build on the momentum established in last year’s bubble and is currently the No. 4 seed in the West.
In fact, Booker’s absence from the All-Star proceedings was so glaring that people began to point to off-the-court rationale for the decision. Some wondered if perhaps his relationship with Kendall Jenner had soured folks on him, or if his involvement in the 7-Suns-Players-In-1-Night scandal had turned opinions regarding him negative.
Going by on-the-court metrics, there was simply no excuse to leave Booker’s name off the All-Star reserves list. Which is probably why he was promptly re-added as soon as Davis’ slot opened up.
There are a lot of actual things James can and should be corrected on, but his defense of Booker definitely isn’t the one Cowherd should’ve latched on to in his attempt to offer a contrarian take.