Devin Booker was playing in the NBA Finals with the Phoenix Suns just over a week ago. Now, he’s on a team with two Milwaukee Bucks stars who beat him in the series, as he’s suiting up for Team USA Basketball with Khris Middleton and Jrue Holiday.
So, how does Booker feel about that? It has to be a little uncomfortable, right? The two-time NBA All-Star recently addressed the situation while at the Tokyo Olympics.
Devin Booker is playing with Team USA basketball after losing in the NBA Finals
Booker and the Suns had a magical postseason run during the 2021 NBA playoffs. After beating the reigning champion Los Angeles Lakers in six games in the first round, the Suns swept the Denver Nuggets in the semifinals and beat the Los Angeles Clippers in six games in the Western Conference Finals.
The Suns then had a hot start to the NBA Finals, jumping out to a 2-0 lead over the Milwaukee Bucks, but Milwaukee came back and won in six games to claim the NBA title. Booker averaged 28.2 points in the series while Giannis Antetokounmpo won Finals MVP with 35.2 points, 13.2 rebounds, and 5.0 assists per game for Milwaukee.
However, just days later, Booker joined Team USA basketball to try and go on a run at the Tokyo Olympics. Also on the team? Khris Middleton and Jrue Holiday of the Bucks. Middleton averaged 24.0 points in the finals, while Holiday scored 16.7 points per game.
He addressed what it feels like to play with Khris Middleton and Jrue Holiday
Days after the NBA Finals, and one day after the Bucks’ championship parade, Booker shared a private plane to Tokyo with Middleton and Holiday. They have since played in two Olympic games together, where the U.S. has won one and lost another.
“I’m a forward thinker and able to move onto the next thing, and be able to take my L and move on,” Booker said on July 28, per The Athletic.
Booker admitted that “it’s not going to be easy to ever even get the opportunity to be” in the NBA Finals again, but he has nothing against Middleton and Holiday.
“The memories are there, but it’s nothing personal between us,” he said, per The Athletic. “We lost and that’s it, and I’m man enough to accept that and move on. There’s no hate towards Jrue or K Mid.”
Booker also talked about the situation with Team USA basketball teammate Draymond Green, who shared a team at the 2016 Olympics with Kyrie Irving after Irving and the Cleveland Cavaliers beat the Golden State Warriors in that year’s finals.
“Talkin’ about it with Draymond, and him stressing the fact that it’s not gonna be that easy to get back to the finals,” Booker said, per The Athletic. “I remember us as a team saying that in the locker room after we lost — you know we’ve got to understand, it’s going to be even harder to make it to the point we were at. … But I’m excited for the experience. It was great. I am glad I got to do it, obviously ended up on the wrong side of the stick, but that’s life.”
Devin Booker and the Bucks’ stars can help Team USA basketball win gold at the Tokyo Olympics
It’s a good thing Booker doesn’t seem to have problems with his new, and temporary, teammates, as Team USA needs all the help it can get.
The U.S. went 2-2 during exhibition play without Booker, Middleton, and Holiday and then lost with them in its Olympic-opener to France, 83-76. Although the three stars played against France, and Holiday even led the team with 18 points, they didn’t get to the hotel until 1 a.m. on the same day.
In the team’s second game against Iran, the Americans won 120-66, and Booker scored 16, while Middleton had 10 and Holiday added eight.
It will ultimately be an uphill battle for Team USA basketball at the Tokyo Olympics, but Booker, Middleton, and Holiday have already been on tournament runs this year. They can certainly do it again.