If you’ve heard J. Cole’s 2014 Forest Hills Drive album, you’re probably a hip-hop enthusiast. If you’ve heard of Trevor Booker you are probably a bit of basketball enthusiast as well. Why else would you be here if you weren’t? A comparison of Cole and Booker may be connected by faint dots on the surface, but there is a deeper connection that can be made if examined past initial externalities.
Cole’s third album has been met with critical acclaim and while Booker’s career arc hasn’t yet had the same trajectory just yet, we are talking about two guys from the Carolinas who have had to work for their success every step along the way. Booker is a big fan of Cole’s music and is assuredly happy to see someone he calls “his guy” attaining success. With the perseverance and work Booker puts into his game, he might not be far off from shedding the same “underrated” tag Cole once donned in the music industry.
Off the court, Booker is an avid cereal eater (you read that right) and superstar rapper/singer in the shower. On the court, he is in his fifth year in the league and continues to hone his craft while embracing a role as a veteran leader for a very young team in Salt Lake City. Booker is just 27 years old, but has a presence about him that seems to captivate an audience when he speaks to teammates or anyone within ear shot. We had a chance to chat with Booker who was more than willing to give us some insight on the Jazz’s season and why his cousin Jordan Hill may need to watch his head.
Dime: So you have hit the shot of the year that has pretty much everyone talking. Other teams and people all over are trying to replicate it. You said after that game that you used to practice shots like that with your cousin Jordan Hill. Can you talk about that and the reaction you are getting for the shot?
Trevor Booker: Just growing up we lived in the country, so we didn’t really have much to do other than make up games and throw up crazy shots. Just working on our games we’d try different stuff to have fun and that was one of the shots that me, my cousins and brothers would just throw up sometimes.
Dime: What about the reaction to the shot? Are you still getting a lot of attention because of it? Have you ever hit anything crazier than that shot before?
Booker: I’d have to say that’s my craziest shot. I’m still getting a lot of love from it. My phone is still blowing up, as well as Twitter and Instagram. People are trying to re-enact the shot so I think I am going to have a little contest to see who does it the best. We’re trying to put something together right now. I’m not sure what the winner will get, but we’ll put something together.
Dime: How will the contest be released? Through the Jazz and social media, or through your own organization?
Booker: Pretty much through my own organization. My teammates are trying to help me with some ideas but once we have it all together we will see how it turns out.
Dime: Was your decision to join the Jazz about playing time and fit?
Booker: Well I had a couple of options this summer and I sat down with Utah’s head coach, GM and assistant GM. They sold me right off the bat. They told me nothing would be handed to me and that I’d have to earn my minutes in Utah. And that’s the kind of guy I am: I want to earn everything. I knew they had a young team but also a lot of potential. In a couple years this will be a team that people will know that they can’t take lightly.
Dime: You left the Wizards to come to Utah and they are having lots of success. Do you ever sit and wonder what if you would have stayed?
Booker: Oh no! I’m happy for my guys back in Washington but I am definitely 100 percent happy in Utah. This team is improving as the season is going on and I’m looking forward to building with this team.