Not too long ago, veteran guard Patrick Beverley was one of the LA Clippers' fan favorites. Beverley was tough, knew how to play ball, and embraced his role for what it was. The guard loved donning the Clippers jersey because fans loved him. Another reason was that he knew the team had a chance to win the title.
Pat Bev thinks he is underappreciated
So when the team traded him over the summer, Beverley was caught off guard. Like most fans, Beverley felt that he was destined to become a core part of the team for plenty of years. More than six months after his fallout, and now that he's with the Minnesota Timberwolves jersey, it seems that Beverley hasn't moved on from the Clippers.
"(What I do) is kind of overlooked. Especially when you have people like Kawhi & PG, who take a lot of credit for everything, but it's always when I go to the other team, that's when you see my work & how the team is now. What I do is very underappreciated," Beverley said.
Beverley is correct in his self-assessment. The veteran guard is one of those players who rarely pad the stat sheet. He's happy with defending the best player of the opposing team and bugging everyone else. His multiple selections into the NBA All-Defensive Team is a testament that he's good at what he's doing.
While some players turn coy when they're mismatched, Beverley embraces them. The 6-foot-1 guard has been matched up with the massive LeBron James and got his piece of the pie.
He wants to be seen as a playmaker
Unfortunately, what Beverley did for the Clippers in his four-year stint was not enough. The organization became a legitimate playoff contender during his time there. The farthest they reached was the Western Conference Finals last year. And when they got eliminated, the front office was forced to go back to the drawing board. Beverley was one of the first ones to go. And he knew precisely why the Clippers had to boot him out.
"I wanted to come out here & pass the ball. One of the reasons [they traded me], Clippers was always looking for another guard cuz they said I wasn't a playmaker, so I wanted to set the tone with that tonight," Beverley said, who had logged in 12 assists against his former team on Monday. He's also averaging a career-best 5.2 dimes per game.
Perhaps Beverley is heeding the advice and the method of the great ones. Criticisms serve one purpose for athletes. They are meant to fuel the fire that's within.
Besides, Beverley has a lot of reasons to be comfortable in his place now. The Clippers are sitting in seventh place in the West, not too far from the Timberwolves, who are in ninth place. The Wolves, who have a lot of upside given their young core, will be the team to watch out for in the coming years. Meanwhile, the clock is ticking for the Clippers. If they do not win the title in the next two or three seasons, we may see them push the reset button.