Patrick Beverley appears to embody everything Los Angeles Lakers head coach Darvin Ham values in a player — and their compatibility was on full display during the 34-year-old guard’s introductory press conference.
Earlier this summer, the 49-year-old stressed the importance of “blue-collar type contributors” on a team, similar to the hard-working, no-nonsense role player he once was while winning the 2004 NBA championship with the gritty Detroit Pistons. Ham has also been saying time and again that he wants his stars to embrace “competitiveness, togetherness and accountability” regardless of how talented they are.
During his press conference, Beverley said the Lakers can expect all of the above from him in 2022-23. That didn’t escape Ham’s attention with the first-year coach heaping praise on the veteran guard and saying he wants the playmaker to be his team’s “tone-setter.”
And the affection is mutual. Beverley told Spectrum SportsNet’s Mike Bresnahan he is “super excited” to accompany Ham as he begins his NBA head-coaching career:
Obviously, my coach last year was a first-year coach. Unfortunately, coaches, they want to win and that’s the most important. And I think that the longer you get in this league, you kind of know the politics about it. As a coach, honestly, I don’t know if winning is the main thing when it’s your first year. When it’s your first year, you feel like you want to win everything, just like a rookie. So what that man said, I’m super excited. I’m super excited to be a part of it. Super excited to be a part of the crew that he has [on] his first team. He’ll remember this team forever just because it’s his first team. So, super excited to see how it goes.
Beverley has already shown leadership skills, making an effort to bring his years-long feud with Russell Westbrook to an end now that the two guards seem likely to share the floor in 2022-23.
Beverley has promised to do everything he can to help the Lakers win games, pointing out he has never cared about stats in his career.
Beverley wants to take care of Lakers’ chemistry
Beverley seems to understand exactly what role Ham envisions for him in 2022-23. The guard has said he wants to take care of the Lakers’ chemistry, ensuring they spend time together off the court to develop camaraderie and become comfortable with tough conversations when necessary.
“The closer you are, the more you are a team, and the more you spend together, the better you will be as a team,” he said during his press conference.
“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.”
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