There has been a bit of animosity between the Los Angeles Lakers and Phoenix Suns stemming back to their meeting in the first round of the 2021 playoffs and it boiled over late in Tuesday night’s contest between the two teams. Point guard Patrick Beverley, no stranger to on-court incidents, ran up and shoved Suns center Deandre Ayton to the floor, leading to both teams needing to be separated.
Everything began following a Devin Booker foul on Lakers guard Austin Reaves in which he hit Reaves in the face. Booker then stood over Reaves and Ayton joined as well, looking down on the Lakers guard which prompted Beverley to spring into action.
Beverley was ejected from the game, but after the contest, he explained what he saw that made him go at the Suns big man, via Spectrum SportsNet:
“I was not upset about anything. From my point of view I felt like, obviously very unprofessional, it shouldn’t have happened first and foremost. But I’m a big fan of protecting my teammates, especially teammates that I go to war for every night. I kinda felt like the play kinda got out of control after the staredown at Austin Reaves by [Devin] Book[er], then another staredown by [DeAndre] Ayton and the refs didn’t really come in and kinda break it up, so you know I’m not going for that s***.
“So that’s what I saw. Obviously it’s unfortunate that it happened on national TV, but you know me regardless of what’s going on I’m a big fan of protecting my teammates, and I’m a foxhole guy. I put on a jersey, I commit to a team, I commit to a city, it’s kinda my motto, I’m a foxhole guy. Very unfortunate situation though.”
While no one wants violence on the court, this was clearly an instance in which most objective viewers could understand Beverley’s reasoning. There was no reason for Booker to stand over Reaves, and especially Ayton who wasn’t even involved in the play. To stand over a player while they’re on the ground is pure disrespect and that is something Beverley won’t stand for.
While Beverley was obviously ejected, Booker also received a flagrant foul 1 while Ayton got a technical as well, showing the officials believed both Suns players were out of line for their actions. Booker also called out Beverley after the game for shoving people in the back, but Beverley refused to respond to that.
These are the things that don’t show up on the box score that makes Beverley valuable. Sometimes teams need to show that they won’t be pushed around and Beverley will never hesitate to protect his guys which makes him beloved in the locker room.
Austin Reaves ‘loves’ that Patrick Beverley had his back
One player who definitely appreciated the actions of Patrick Beverley was Austin Reaves himself. The second-year guard did was the recipient of a shot to the face and staredowns by both Booker and Ayton and he praised his Lakers teammate for coming to his defense in that moment.
Reaves said that he ‘loves’ that Beverley had his back in that moment and added that the team would have done the same for Beverley had he been in that situation.
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