Trevor Booker was able to enter the new year in decent spirits after his infant son, Jaxson, was released on Monday from the hospital. Booker’s family received a scare last week when Jaxson developed an infection in his lymph node and had to have surgery to remove the swelling behind his left ear.
The surgical procedure was performed roughly 10 hours before Booker had 10 points and nine rebounds to help the Wizards defeat the Detroit Pistons, 106-82, on Saturday at the Verizon Center. Booker came to the arena directly from the hospital and was torn about leaving his family at the hospital. But he decided to play on about two hours sleep after the surgery went well and three-month-old Jaxson’s health began to improve. After the game, Booker drove back to the hospital.
“It was a tough day for him, I’m sure,” Coach Randy Wittman said of Booker. “I think it meant a lot to our guys. To see him come back that evening and then play the way he did, with the effort and energy. I think it meant a lot to all of us and I think it helped him, getting through the day.”
Booker has started the past nine games at power forward as Nene recovers from tendinitis in his right Achilles’ and has led the team at 8.4 rebounds over that span.
The Wizards (14-14) are 5-4 with the current lineup and Wittman said recently that he might not change if the team continues to have success. Washington is 3-1 since Nene returned on a minute restriction.
“That’s going to determine itself,” Wittman said, when asked if he would stick to the current rotation. “Right now with minutes the way they are, that’s what we have to do and what we’ll keep doing with restrictions.”
Backup point guard Garrett Temple credited Booker for taking advantage of his opportunity. “Trev’s been playing great in the first unit at the four spot, bringing us a lot of energy and rebounding and if it continues, like coach said, I don’t know why you would change it,” Temple said. “What’s the old saying, ‘If not’s broke, don’t fix it?’ ”