The Los Angeles Lakers acquired a defensive menace in Patrick Beverley — and a player who doesn’t shy away from speaking his mind when he has something to say.
Beverley has made a name for himself as one of the NBA’s leading instigators. Russell Westbrook knows that side of the 34-year-old well having feuded with his new teammate for years — although the two point guards seem to be willing to call a truce.
Asked about his reputation of being a player teams hate to face but love to have on the roster during his introductory press conference, Beverley explained his attitude is dictated by the desire to win, via Spectrum SportsNet:
“I don’t know, I haven’t been my teammate. But I guess that’s what people say. But you know, if you’ve been around me, I’m all about winning. Obviously, you could tell by my numbers, I really don’t care about points and assists, I just care about wins and losses. So that’s the only thing with me.”
The Lakers missed a player with Beverley’s 3-and-D skill set last year. But while highlighting what he can bring to the team, the playmaker emphasized his professionalism and willpower:
“You look on paper, it’s one of the most talented and put-together teams in the NBA, so I wouldn’t say what [the Lakers] don’t have. But what I can add is willing to be prepared every day. I’m a very detailed man so preparation is really big for me. And my will ability, willingness to be on time in practice, willingness to compete every day, willingness to win a lot of games and potentially go to the playoffs.”
Beverley led the defensive effort on all three of his NBA teams — the Houston Rockets, L.A. Clippers, and Minnesota Timberwolves — with his intensity and candor nurturing a competitive spirit among his teammates. The guard said he wants to show his leadership skills in L.A., hoping to bring the team together and encourage accountability in the locker room:
“I changed the culture of all three of [my former teams]. But I’m not here trying to change the culture. I’m just trying to implement what I feel like has worked over the past years. The closer you are, the more you are a team, and the more you spend together, the better you will be as a team. If you can’t have those tough conversations amongst each other, you damn sure you ain’t going to have them in front of 20,000 people while the crowd is going against you. So my thing has always been camaraderie, team, team, team. If you do that and play hard, you just let the dominoes fall wherever they fall from there.”
The Beverley trade seems to fix the issues the Lakers caused themselves last summer when they parted with their defensive specialist, Alex Caruso, as well as the locker room general, Jared Dudley, without replacing either of them.
And Beverley seems to understand what L.A. needs to fill the void left by Caruso and Dudley’s departures.
Beverley jokes LeBron James & Anthony Davis ‘will be playing with me’
Beverley’s fondness for trash talk is well-documented with the Lakers likely to be glad it’s their opponents who will have to deal with the guard’s combative nature.
However, LeBron James and Anthony Davis took some heat from their new teammate after his press conference as Beverley said it’s the Lakers stars who will get to play with him — not the other way around — since he made the playoffs and they didn’t last year.
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