The Los Angeles Lakers’ trade for Patrick Beverley raised a few eyebrows, particularly considering Russell Westbrook’s history with the 34-year-old point guard.
Westbrook and Beverley feuded as recently as earlier this year with the latter poking fun at the 2017 NBA MVP during his difficult first year in L.A. Many thought Beverley’s arrival meant Westbrook would soon leave the Lakers.
However, head coach Darvin Ham has been saying the two guards can fit together. Also, Westbrook and Beverley reportedly discussed their potential partnership shortly after the trade, suggesting they were ready to bury the hatchet.
During his introductory press conference, Beverley went even further, saying he’s been wanting to play with Westbrook for years, via Spectrum SportsNet:
“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. I have known Bron since I was a baby, a rookie in this league, so obviously, I want to play with him. But 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. Obviously, like any relationship or any marriage, things, we are going to have tough conversations. That is what comes with winning, but I am excited about those conversations, I am excited about the practices. I am just excited to be able to compete with someone like that.”
Beverley then explained why Westbrook and he could make a good backcourt pairing, echoing Ham’s claims that the two guards’ styles complement one another:
“I think it’s perfect. I shoot a ton out the right corner wing, he posts on the left wing. Out of ATOs, he likes to post on the right wing, I shoot 50 percent from the left corner three. I mean, it works. To have another ball-handler out there with me and, obviously, with LeBron also, I think the more ball handlers the better you are a team.”
Westbrook attended Beverley’s press conference to greet the former L.A. Clippers and Minnesota Timberwolves guard on Tuesday. However, doubts over their compatibility remain considering Beverley’s direct nature and Westbrook’s well-documented unwillingness to accept accountability.
Beverley wants to take care of Lakers’ chemistry
Explaining what he can bring to L.A., Beverley emphasized his professionalism and strong will, and added he will do whatever it takes to make the Lakers win games.
Also, the 34-year-old said he wants to take care of the team’s chemistry and encourage having tough conversations when necessary.
“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,” Beverley said.
“So my thing has always been camaraderie, team, team, team. And you do that and play hard, you just let the dominoes fall wherever they fall from there.”
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