The Los Angeles Lakers were in for an uphill battle against the Phoenix Suns as they were without LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Russell Westbrook and Austin Reaves. While the Lakers did eventually lose in a rout, there was certainly some entertainment going on in the matchup between Patrick Beverley and Chris Paul.
There is obviously a lot of history between the two players with Beverley infamously shoving Paul in the back while a member of the L.A. Clippers following the Suns eliminating them from the 2021 Western Conference Finals. While there was no physicality on this night, Beverley still attempted to play some mind games with his adversary, most notably doing the ‘too small’ gesture when scoring a layup and getting fouled by Paul in the third quarter.
While Paul did look visibly frustrated with Beverley at different points throughout the game, he says that’s not the case. According to Dave McMenamin of ESPN, Paul says he doesn’t pay attention to Beverley’s antics and just wants to play basketball:
“You can’t pay attention to that stuff,” Paul said after the game when asked about Beverley trying to show him up. “That ain’t new. He ain’t come up with it. But just play basketball, man.”
What made the Beverley taunt ridiculous to some and hilarious to others was the fact that the Lakers were down huge at the time, with the basket and free throw cutting the deficit to 23. Many would say that players have no reason to be celebrating while down that large an amount, but Lakers head coach Darvin Ham would come to the defense of Beverley.
Ham did say that he wants his team to be respectful and that there is a line when it comes to trash talking. But he added that if guys want to have fun during the game, he’s not going to stop them:
“Pat is a seasoned vet, and he wants to have fun within the game,” Ham continued. “So, I’ll be damned if I’ll be the one to say these guys can’t have fun or they can’t do this or they can’t do that. I know time and score matters; you never want to embarrass yourself. But if guys want to enjoy the game, why not?”
It could be argued that Beverley did exactly that, embarrass himself with his taunting move, and it also gave Suns fans a reason to boo him even louder than they already were. But this is all part of the Patrick Beverley experience and considering how long he’s been in the league, it’s unlikely to change at this point.
Patrick Beverley interested in re-joining Timberwolves if traded by Lakers and bought out
The other question for Beverley is whether he will be sticking with the Lakers for the remainder of the season. It has been reported that the Lakers are focused on deals that would involve him and Kendrick Nunn and that could see the veteran sent to a rebuilding team.
If that were to be the case, and he is ultimately bought out by another team, reports suggest that Beverley would prefer to re-join the Minnesota Timberwolves where he had great success last season in helping them make the playoffs.
Have you subscribed to our YouTube channel? It’s the best way to watch player interviews, exclusive coverage from events, participate in live shows, and more!