As the cornerstone of the Phoenix Suns, when Devin Booker speaks, you can bet those in positions of power in the organization will listen.
Earlier this season, general manager Ryan McDonough said Booker would have input on all of the Suns’ major decisions going forward, including the coaching search, draft and free agency.
With the Suns likely to have a new coach next season, the standout shooting guard is placing more importance on who is on the court than who is in charge.
“I’ve had three coaches since I’ve been here and I’ve never blamed anything on one of the coaches as an individual,” Booker told Scott Bordow of the Arizona Republic. “I’ve had great relationships with all the coaches. I think the NBA just overall, when you need somebody to blame the first person that you go to is the coach.
“But at the end of the day, you need the right players that match each other. Not just the best players. Chemistry helps.
“I just don’t think a lot of responsibility is with the coaches. It’s a players’ league.”
Booker said whatever happens going forward, it will be on the onus on he and the other guys out on the floor to get the job done.
“It’s on the players, how great they want to be and how serious they take their work,” he said.
Phoenix is 19-58 this season, including 19-55 since Jay Triano replaced Earl Watson three games into this season. The Suns have lost 14 consecutive games headed into Sunday night’s contest at Golden State.
“I love everything Jay has done since Day 1 that he’s been here,” Booker said, not blaming Triano by the Suns’ record. “He’s kept the same mindset of getting everybody better. It’s not an easy position with the young team we have. The basketball experience we have is not up to par. We have a lot of guys that are still just learning the basics.”
In October, Booker said he would sign a five-year, $156 million extension this summer if the Suns offered it.
Now, however, he’s walking that statement back a bit.
“I mean, that’s a whole other discussion,” Booker said. “A lot goes into that. When that time comes I’ll have to make a decision. … I’ve always said this is the place I want to be so if everything works out, yeah.”