A surprise trade during the offseason was bringing in arguably public enemy No. 1 for Los Angeles Lakers’ fans in Patrick Beverley. The Lakers dealt Talen Horton-Tucker and Stanley Johnson for Beverley, a decision that was rooted in L.A.’s lack of defensive prowess.
Beverley so far has played a key role in the Lakers’ defense. His defensive rating is the highest on the Lakers, however, he has struggled mightily on offense. He’s shooting a career-low in field goal percentage and 3-point percentage while still getting up five triples a game.
Once the trade was made, questions were asked about Beverley and Russell Westbrook’s ability to coexist. The two have a complicated history, however, have been amicable so far. Beverley even called Westbrook his best friend on the team at his introductory press conference.
Their relationship took a major hit after a defensive play by Beverley injured Westbrook in Game 2 of the 2013 Playoffs. Westbrook tore his meniscus and Beverley shared on the Pat Bev Podcast with Rone that a ball boy threatened to kill him because of it:
The time a ball boy threatened to kill Pat in OKC pic.twitter.com/UWWq2nD7B2
— Pat Bev Pod (@PatBevPod) November 17, 2022
Security had to guide Beverley through every stop on that road trip. Even getting a cup of coffee or tea required police presence, something that must have felt odd.
Even though he was under no threat, the point guard jokes he would have enjoyed seeing the ball boy in person. However, it’s a scary situation Beverley had himself in, one that was thankfully kept under control.
Since that moment in 2013, it does seem Westbrook and Beverley have gotten over the nearly 10-year-old incident. Beverley defended Westbrook earlier in the season after the former MVP was under scrutiny. He also expressed his excitement about playing alongside Westbrook.
Whether or not it’s genuine is still up for debate. But, regardless, it is one of the better friendship turnarounds in the NBA.
Kuzma speaks to challenges of being role player for Lakers
As Beverley is finding out early on this season, being a role player for the Lakers is a whole different ballgame compared to other organizations when it comes to pressure.
Former Lakers and current Washington Wizards forward Kyle Kuzma recently spoke to those challenges and how the lights are brighter in L.A. for role players surrounded by stars.,
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