Devin Booker, James Harden and the NBA’s stress test
Absent stars are challenging the NBA’s new policy.
Less than eight hours before Thursday’s tipoff between the Phoenix Suns and Los Angeles Lakers, Shams Charania broke some news that will upset many in the NBA business: Devin Booker and Bradley Beal – two-thirds of the Suns’ star trio – would be missing the blockbuster matchup on TNT.
For those that watched Booker dazzle his way through Tuesday night’s win on national television, that might be a surprise. The three-time All-Star filled up the box score and put the dagger in the Golden State Warriors down the stretch by running the Suns’ high-powered offense with Booker’s typical precision.
As Booker led all players with seven points and three assists in the final frame, viewers at home might not have realized that he was battling through a foot injury, sore enough for the Phoenix Suns to list him as questionable heading into the opener.
Booker gutted his way through the pain and may have paid the price. Ahead of Thursday’s game, the team’s medical staff reportedly determined the lingering foot issue wasn’t healthy enough to give it a go against LeBron James and Anthony Davis. Booker’s teammate, Bradley Beal, who missed the season-opener against the Warriors with back soreness, would also be sidelined.
Last season, that would be the end of the story.
This season, an investigation may be opened.