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Lakers news: Stephen A. Smith says Devin Booker is the next Kobe Bryant

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Fresh off a Game 1 win in the Western Conference Finals against the L.A. Clippers, the Phoenix Suns continue to take the NBA by storm.

The Suns finished the regular season as the second seed in the West, ending a decade-long playoff drought after the front office, led by James Jones, assembled a balanced roster that could get the job done on both ends.

Phoenix eliminated the Los Angeles Lakers in six games in the first round, then swept the Denver Nuggets in the second round.

Chris Paul has received plenty of praise for how his leadership has helped a young roster compete at this level, but Devin Booker has become a rising star, which has been brewing for a while.

Booker dropped a 40-point. 13-rebound, 11-assist triple-double in Game 1 against the Clippers, and his performance is drawing praise from the NBA world.

On ESPN’s “First Take”, Stephen A. Smith said Booker is the next Kobe Bryant:

“I told you with Donovan Mitchell as D-Wade 2.0 — he’s special. Devin Booker is the next Kobe Bryant. I’m saying it on national television. Devin Booker is the next Kobe Bryant. It is official. His first playoff appearance and the brother is the No.1 option, averaging over 28, dropped 40 and a triple-double in the first game of the conference finals. And just the way he plays, he’s an assassin. And guess what? This Clippers team, you need Kawhi back to knock that kid off.”

Booker has long admired Bryant’s game, and the similarities of their play styles are evident on the court.

Booker is only 24 years old with the future looking more than bright, but he still has a long way to go to match Bryant’s legacy. If he can continue playing this way — and possibly lead Phoenix to its first championship — he could be on the right path to carve his name among the NBA’s best.

Check out the full conversation above, courtesy of ESPN’s YouTube channel.

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