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Devin Booker Quietly Owns an Upset Bill Simmons

(Photo via @DevinBook)

(Photo via @DevinBook)

If you were like myself and many other Americans this morning, you caught an amazing basketball game between the USA and Turkey. And by amazing, I mean that it was *amazing* Turkey pushed the Americans to overtime before four consecutive missed free throws cost them one of FIBA’s all-time greatest upsets.

Former Duke product Jayson Tatum made two out of three free throws with only 0.1 seconds left in regulation after being fouled on a three-point attempt, sending the game to a fifth period. Then, up by one point with under 10 seconds left, Turkey missed four straight from the charity stripe which allowed Khris Middleton to knock in two free throws with two seconds left to seal the win after being fouled going to the basket.

*Side note: FIBA has some odd rules. Joe Harris was called for an “unsportsmanlike foul” with nine seconds left that gave Turkey two shots and possession of the ball. And what do FIBA rules classify as an “unsportsmanlike foul”? Apparently one where Harris simply employed a common tactic in US basketball, which was to intentionally foul the ball handler. It was a routine foul by the standards put forth by the NCAA and NBA, nothing dirty or violent about it, but the rules work differently according to FIBA. Turkey would miss both of the technical foul shots before Cedi Osman immediately missed two more after being fouled.*

But it’s not the 93-92 win that the US miraculously pulled out that we’re going to discuss, it was what The Ringer’s Bill Simmons had to say about Devin Booker – someone who isn’t even playing – during the game.

The Suns guard decided not to play for Team USA this summer in order to focus on the upcoming season, a common trend amongst many NBA stars.

Now, there are several reasons for Simmons’ apparent vendetta against Booker. One might be the 70-point drumming the former Wildcat dished out against Simmons’ precious Boston Celtics back in 2017. Or maybe Bill was just upset that four key players for the Celtics (Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Kemba Walker, and Marcus Smart) make up this USA roster that is struggling so mightily on the international stage. Or maybe – and this is probably the real answer – Simmons was just being a major troll for no other reason than to earn a few likes on Twitter. But as the old saying goes: what goes around comes around.

Shortly after Simmons’ shot at Booker, Tatum came off the court limping after awkwardly twisting his ankle following a bounce pass that would eventually lead to Middleton’s game-winning free throws.

Luckily, Tatum is already feeling better, according to Brian Windhorst, and the injury doesn’t appear to be as bad as it initially looked. He’s been diagnosed with a sprained left ankle and will be re-evaluated on Wednesday.

Tatum, if you aren’t familiar with him, has always been viewed by the Celtics organization as the “untouchable” asset; the one that would not be included in any trade that might have earned them Anthony Davis this past summer (and we know how that turned out).

But let’s take a look at the time stamp on this next tweet by Simmons compared to the one he tweeted above.

17 minutes after Simmons unwarranted attack on Booker, a huge piece of the Celtics future went down with an injury. And Booker took full advantage of the situation with one simple and subtle reply.

If there were still a debate ongoing about if players are right or wrong to avoid the World Cup, this is all you need to see. Avoiding injuries like the one Tatum incurred early on Tuesday morning is the exact reason why so many big names stayed in the states. Where does this hate for Booker come from, Bill? That’s all we want to know.

Article written by Zack Geoghegan

Covering all things NBA and UK Hoops. Follow me on Twitter: @ZGeogheganKSR

11 Comments for Devin Booker Quietly Owns an Upset Bill Simmons

  1. HillbillyInBC
    10:35 pm September 3, 2019 Permalink

    Booker dropped 70 on his Celtics, and Bill’s been butthurt about it ever since.

    • terwilliger
      11:52 pm September 3, 2019 Permalink

      The Celtics won the game. The object of basketball is to win games.

    • ukjaybrat
      7:15 am September 4, 2019 Permalink

      terwilliger – then please explain why simmons is so butthurt about it !!

  2. jakew60
    12:05 am September 4, 2019 Permalink

    I’m a Celtics fan, love booker and watched him drop 70 against them and the Celtics still won, many people are getting on booker this offseason because he doesn’t play solid defense in the NBA and his team would have trouble with IMG academy lol but I hope booker gets better and hope he becomes what he has the potential to be

  3. ryan1723
    7:35 am September 4, 2019 Permalink

    I like how the writer craps on the FIBA intentional foul rule like it’s not something 95% of basketball fans want to see in every league. Cuts the last two minutes of a game from half an hour to 4 minutes.

    • runningunnin.454
      8:55 am September 4, 2019 Permalink

      Been calling for it for years. Who wants to watch a parade to the foul line?

    • Bluehender
      9:40 am September 4, 2019 Permalink

      Count me as one of the 95%.

  4. eyebleedblue
    9:49 am September 4, 2019 Permalink

    Dang. That’s a master level troll. Trump or McConnell level. Others write fake news books while winners win and appoint record levels of judges.
    Let’s blame a United States senator for counties, even though democrats ran the state legislature for a century.

    • stl_cat
      1:19 pm September 4, 2019 Permalink

      Congratulations. You’re a moron.

  5. natedaddy
    10:51 am September 4, 2019 Permalink

    I agree with Simmons. I love Booker but his defense is below average at best. Simmons did the same with James Harden until he actually stepped it up defensively. What good does it do if you put up 30 points a night and the guy your supposed to be guarding puts up 30 points of his own and your team still loses the game? Booker is an all star if steps up his defense.

    • MontyCats
      5:32 pm September 4, 2019 Permalink

      I agree, I think Booker has a shot to be this generations Kobe and so far he doesnt seem to have the drive. He hasnt earned the credibility to dismiss a team USA invite. This tournament has produced the “Next” guy for the last 20 plus years and I was really hoping he would go and turn into Kobe.

      I worry that Booker is gonna end up being an 80’s basketball movie villain, the sharp dressed guy who scores 30 on the worst team in the league and doesnt seem to contribute to winning. Playing on the worst team in the league is such a bad look, I really hope something clicks with him and he starts taking over.