The Phoenix Suns have been eliminated from the NBA Playoffs by the Dallas Mavericks, a development about which I’m sure Jezebel readers care deeply. In any case, the only thing you really need to know is that the Suns were defeated in particularly tragic fashion, blowing a 0-2 lead in the series, then a 3-2 lead, and at one point in Sunday’s deeply cringe Game 7 conclusion, the entire team had scored fewer points than one Mavs player, Mr. Luka Doncic. Now, lots of men in Phoenix are very angry—even “literally shaking” (someone please check on this man)—while lots of men elsewhere are ecstatic over the nearly Shakespearean downfall of one person in particular. A man who is more handsome, taller, and richer than all of them: Devin Booker.
Devin Booker, you shouldn’t be alone tonight. I am here if you need literally anything. Perhaps a companion to your local Applebee’s now that your friends have inevitably turned on you for scoring just 2 points in the first half of Sunday’s game? Or maybe you’re just feeling a little thirsty amid Arizona’s mega-drought. Either way, Devin, I am here for you.
If anyone expected my very public thirst for this beautiful man to abate because of his sudden loss of discernible basketball skill on Sunday evening, they were sorely mistaken. My thirst has, if anything, deepened. I am parched for this man.
After mocking and bullying Doncic for much of the series, purportedly for “flopping” (a very needlessly phallic term, in my opinion, for intentionally falling in order to draw a foul), Booker quickly became the “villain” of the series. His hubris and theatrical displays of toxic masculinity made his downfall all the more satisfying to his legions of jealous male detractors, who have long been waiting to pounce. But to me, Booker is more attractive now than ever before—certainly more so than when he led his team to the best win-loss record in the league (including not once losing a game throughout November 2021).
There is nothing hotter to me than a misunderstood man, a fallen king who suddenly finds the world has turned on him and is about to go on a spiritual journey to discover what happened to his ability to play the game of basketball when he needed it most. Before Booker, there was Ben Simmons, another tall, handsome Kendall Jenner-adjacent alum and first round-first pick in the 2016 draft. He was supposed to be the next LeBron; instead, his career was virtually ended by a man nearly a foot shorter than him during last year’s playoffs, when a prolonged bout of stage-fright held Simmons to single-digit scoring throughout the Atlanta Hawks series. Simmons has since been reduced to a meme, shorthand for a player who cannot and will not even try to score. He’s become a caricature for softness and cowardice among the very strong, brave men of NBA Twitter—but to me, more than ever since last year, Simmons is a legendary sex symbol.
Before my Simmons obsession, there was and is my ongoing James Harden era. Here is a man with a beautiful beard, a great feminist with a penchant for patronizing and redistributing tremendous amounts of wealth to women workers; here is a man who could, earlier in his career, casually drop 40, 50, 60 points in regular season games—only to vanish in the playoffs, not unlike a flawlessly executed Houdini disappearing act. Harden has always been the league’s favorite villain, and not ironically the most beloved man in my life—perhaps because of that.
Ben Simmons, James Harden, Devin Booker—I can’t be the only one who looks at their careers or life choices and thinks to myself, “I can fix him.” As of this Sunday, Booker’s fans and the many emotionally mature, likely heterosexual men who relied on his ability to win games to satisfy their hierarchy of needs are surely disappointed, embittered, or even perhaps enraged. He only mattered to them for shallow, irrelevant reasons, like basketball skill and athletic prowess. Booker, on the other hand, matters to me for a much deeper reason, which is his hotness. And in these trying times, with no end in sight to the memes at his expense, I’ll say it again: Devin Booker, you shouldn’t be alone tonight.