Patrick Beverley has never been one to hold back and not speak his mind. His recent move to the LA Lakers has generated a lot of excitement, given how outspoken and confident the defensive guard is. During his introductory press conference with the Lakers, Beverley made a bold statement when asked about playing with LeBron James and Anthony Davis:
“They’re gonna be playing with me. I made the playoffs last year, they didn’t. It’s a difference. I’m glad that, you know, we get a chance to play with each other.”
Patrick Beverley, Introductory Press Conference
Beverley and Westbrook’s rivalry
Russell Westbrook and Patrick Beverley have a well-established rivalry in the NBA, dating back to the 2013 playoffs when Beverley went for a steal on Westbrook and ended up tearing the latter’s meniscus. Since that day, there’s always been banter whenever they crossed paths. In 2019, Westbrook took a dig at Beverley - mocking his defense:
“Pat Bev trick y’all, man, like he playing defense. He don’t guard nobody, man. He just running around, doing nothing,” Westbrook explained.
However, it seems the two of them are treating this situation like adults, given Beverley’s comments when asked about his fit with Westbrook.
“Super excited. I was asked this question two, three years ago, [about] someone I always wanted to play with and [Westbrook] was the first name… a player with that competitive spirit, that fire, that will, that dog, that nastiness, that grit, to have a running mate like that, I have never had that. So I am super excited to see where it goes,” Beverley said per ESPN’s Ohm Youngmisuk.
What does Patrick Beverley bring to the table?
The LA Lakers had some glaring shortcomings during their 2021-22 season, with their defense being exploited on a regular basis. Patrick Beverley’s signing, despite his age, is a direct response to that gap - given his reputation for being a hard-working defender.
Beverley was the Minnesota Timberwolves’ starting point guard last season, averaging 9.2 points, 4.1 rebounds, and 4.3 assists. On the defensive end, he recorded 1.2 steals per game - something the Lakers are looking to benefit from.
It will be interesting to see how much of a difference Patrick Beverley can make in the 2022-23 campaign. His work in training camp will be important to determine whether he gets a spot on the starting lineup alongside James and Davis.