In the WWE, like in the NBA, not everyone on the roster can be a star. Instead, some athletes scrap for this void of identity and attention by embodying polarising identities or, in other words - turning gimmicky. From the loveable underdogs like pre-Timberwolves Jimmy Butler and pre-blown-up Daniel Bryan, the conniving cheaters like Zaza Pachulia and William Regal, or just the useless balls of muscle like Grant Williams and Chris Masters. The attention generated for having the shtick does not equate to what their actual ability provides. The same goes for Patrick Beverley.
Apart from when he speared Westbrook's knee, leading to a torn meniscus which likely altered a potential Thunder championship causing Durant to join the Warriors for two long NBA years, Beverley is a fun guy to root for. Most of it is the underdog factor of an undrafted, unafraid, and unapologetic small guy causing havoc with the NBA's biggest names like Durant, LeBron, and Embiid. Everyone likes confrontation in sports, and Beverley brings just that, but does it actually matter?
He has a career average of 8.3 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 4.8 assists but has the name recognition to casuals of someone like Rudy Gobert. The fact that he's been on three All-NBA defensive teams proves value past theatrics and sub-par stats, but is he someone that deserves a video tribute like for what the Clippers did for him? Apparently.
Clippers fans will argue they went further with him than they ever did without him, but that's like giving credit to the color of the sheets for having a great sleep. No, you never went further before you signed Kawhi Leonard and Paul George. I'm not saying Beverley was just along for the ride, he definitely was the most spirited leader for what was a quiet locker room, but people make it out like he carried their defense or something?
Besides the conference finals season, Beverley teams have ranked 22nd in opponents' points per game. Maybe it's unfair to judge a team's defensive ranking around one player, but I'd argue that he does not have the overall uplifting value on that side of the floor like a player of Marcus Smart's caliber. It doesn't help that Beverley's career-high in points is only 26, even though he plays 27.6 minutes per game on average.
This is easily his biggest Achilles heel because spoiler alert: offense is always better than defense. That is because most NBA players with length can defend, but only a few can set up or put up big numbers. So like with everything about Beverley, his unique ability to defend his usually taller matchups at a highly competent level makes him more unique and attractive rather than actually valuable. Essentially, every team wants a Patrick Beverley, but not quite as bad as they want a Joe Harris, who may be the polar opposite. This is just due to where their specialties align, and the salaries back this up.
Kendrick Perkins had Patrick Beverley, Udonis Haslem, James Johnson, Montrezl Harrell, and P.J. Tucker as this First Team All Back Alley. Sounds cool for a movie script, but maybe not when I'm measuring basketball success. Nothing is wrong with being more likable than for what your game deserves; in fact, with the way things have been going, Beverley's no crap gimmick might even send him to the Naismith Hall of Fame. Kidding, but I do think it is in the realm of possibility.
But at the end of the day, he's just not that good.