Phoenix Suns fans react to NBA 2K23 cover athlete Devin Booker's rating among top players – The Arizona Republic

The popular NBA2K video game’s 2022-23 season edition will be released this Thursday. 
After several of the league’s top players’ ratings were unveiled on social media Tuesday, Devin Booker’s rating raised Suns fans’ eyebrows and caused some angry reactions.
The three-time All-Star received a 91, the highest of his eight years in the simulation game.
Despite being NBA2K23’s cover athlete, his $224 million supermax extension with Phoenix he signed in July after he earned 2022 All-NBA First Team honors, and being fourth in MVP voting last season, Booker’s 91 rating is lower than the game’s top 11 other All-Stars.
Many of those players were All-NBA First through Third Team selections, and two players ahead of Booker who got higher ratings didn’t get picked for those year-end accolades. 
That includes Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokoumnpo’s 97 as NBA 2K23’s highest, 96 ratings were given to Denver’s Nikola Jokic, Los Angeles Lakers’ LeBron James, Brooklyn’s Kevin Durant, Golden State’s Stephen Curry, and Philadelphia’s Joel Embiid. Dallas’ Luka Doncic got a 95. L.A. Clippers’ Kawhi Leonard got a 94, and 93 for Memphis’ Ja Morant, Boston’s Jayson Tatum, and the Miami Heat’s Jimmy Butler.
The 2K ratings are largely based on performance from the previous season, their career averages and performance projections for the upcoming season.
Antetokoumnpo, Jokic, Doncic, and Tatum were All-NBA First Team players last season.
Antetokoumnpo won two consecutive MVPs in 2019 and 2020, and led the Bucks to beat the Suns in the finals for their first title in 50 years two seasons ago.
Jokic is the reigning two-time league MVP. 
The 37-year-old James was a Third Team selection who finished as the league’s third-best scorer with 30.3 points per game during the regular season. 
Embiid is coming off a career-high year as the league’s top scorer at 30.6 per game. He made history as the first center in 22 years since Shaquille O’Neal to win a scoring title, the first international player to win that title, and first at that position to average over 30 points in 40 years. 
The 23-year-old Doncic earned his third consecutive First Team honors. He torched the Suns in the Western Conference semifinals, leading the Mavericks to their Game 7 rout, which abruptly ended top playoff seed Phoenix’s run following its landmark 64-win regular season.
Curry, a Second Team honoree, became the league’s all-time leader in 3s made last season and led the Warriors to their fourth world title in seven years this past June. He is among the 11 active players on the 75 all-time greatest players list including Durant, James, Antetokoumnpo, Leonard, and the Suns’ Chris Paul. 
Morant is one of the league’s most electrifying point guards whose powerful dunks are huge draws in highlight reels. The former Rookie of the Year award winner is entering his fourth season. He got on the All-NBA Second Team after last postseason, in which he led the Grizzlies to the Western Conference semifinals and earned Most Improved Player.
Tatum helped lead the Celtics to the finals against the Warriors, Boston’s first world championship series in 12 years, and he was placed on the All-NBA First Team. 
But Leonard missed the entire 2021-22 to rehabilitate the torn ACL he suffered in the 2021 Western Conference semifinals Game 4 against Utah. And Butler, who was the Heat’s best offensive player who led it to the East finals against Boston, the four-time All-NBA Third Team selection didn’t get enough votes to be an All-NBA pick entering this season.
Many posts on Twitter came to Booker’s defense. 
More Suns news: How Suns big Deandre Ayton can become a Top 3 NBA center | Whistle hasn’t been kind to Phoenix Suns the last 5 seasons
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