PHOENIX — Devin Booker went viral Tuesday night for two very different reasons.
One was the hamstring injury the shooting guard suffered in Game 2 against the New Orleans Pelicans. The other was a fist bump he shared with an infant sitting courtside during the loss.
Now 10-month-old Baby Ozzie is achieving Kardashian-like social stardom.
“The people next to me are showing me their phone and I see ESPN posted it,” Octavio Reyna, the baby’s father and cofounder of LGND Energy, told Cronkite News. “Throughout the night we had plenty of pictures and videos from people.”
Booker had a standout first half, scoring 31 points with seven 3-pointers and hit a buzzer beater at the end of the first quarter.
After falling to the floor following the shot, Booker looked to his left and saw a baby in the arms of a father come forward to give him a fist bump. Cameras caught Booker as he bumped fists, a moment Reyna was grateful he could share with his son.
Book ?? Baby pic.twitter.com/wCITvG8zIj
— Phoenix Suns (@Suns) April 20, 2022
At the time, Reyna merely thought of it as a moment he could show off to his family.
Little did he know.
“I’ve enjoy being a father and to have these big moments, I feel like it’s still surreal,” the longtime Suns fan said. “It’s like overnight he is an internet sensation and it would be cool to look back on these moments with him.”
It ws an an eventful evening overall, and Footprint Center was packed again for Suns playoff basketball.
After an action-packed first half for the Suns, Booker, with 4:45 left in the third quarter, injured his right hamstring after attempting to block a Jaxson Hayes dunk.
Shortly after contesting it, Booker waved to the bench for medical attention.
After Booker’s exit, the Suns struggled. The Pelicans rallied after standout 3-point shooting from forward Brandon Ingram and guard C.J. McCollum.
“Our guys have to understand that this team is going to play hard every possession and we saw it in the third,” Suns coach Monty Williams said the game. “We missed a shot and they were taking off, but that was the change in my eyes and then they got hot from three.”
Ingram finished with 37 points and shot 3 of 3 from beyond the arc. His effort was complemented by McCollum’s 23 points, including six 3-pointers.
Booker is unlikely to play games 3 and 4 in New Orleans, ESPN insider Adrian Wojnarowski reported. The injury is believed to be mild and Booker has not been ruled out of the series.
Booker has had hamstring issues frequently the past two seasons. In November, he missed seven games after injuring his left hamstring. He also suffered an apparent hamstring injury in Game 3 of last year’s NBA Finals.
The Suns were 5-2 in a seven-game stretch without Booker in November. But in the playoffs, the stakes are higher.
Suns forward Mikal Bridges is confident the Suns can be successful without Booker.
“We’re going to be ready, man,” Bridges said after the game. “That’s our brother, so obviously hoping everything goes right but I know everybody is ready to step up, so we’ll be ready.”