The NBA has its fair share of beefs among players. There have been players who do not like each other at all. You have seen Karl Anthony Towns going at it against Joel Embiid. But what happens if the player you have beef with ends up coming to the same squad you are in. That will be a wicked twist of fate. Something similar is happening inside the Lakers roster.
Recently, the Lakers have acquired Patrick Beverley in a trade with the Utah Jazz. Beverley is a very controversial player who is known to be a hard-nosed defender. He also mocks the opposing players due to which he has earned the hate of some of the stars in the league. Kevin Durant, Chris Paul and LeBron James are few names that comes to mind. But his most intense beef is the one player with whom he now shares his jersey that is Russell Westbrook.
The history of Westbrook vs Beverley
The beef between Beverley and Westbrook has ensued now for nearly a decade. It all started in the 2013 playoffs, when the Oklahoma City Thunder matched up. It was Beverley’s first season in the league and he intends to show his defense. He clamped down on Russell Westbrook for the entire series. But during game 2 of the 1st round, Westbrook suffered a knee injury after Beverley collided with him in an attempt to steal the ball.
Westbrook felt that the contact was unnecessary and from that day on Beverley was in Westbrook’s kill list. As soon as Westbrook returned from injury he showed no mercy to Beverley in their very first meeting. But Beverley wasn’t going to take anything lying down. So, when Russell Westbrook signaled for a timeout, Beverley swat the ball out of Westbrook’s hands. They got into an argument leading to Beverley being charged with a technical.
They had back and forth exchanges every time they played on the court but nothing serious developed in some years. Then in the 2018-19 season, Russell Westbrook pulled out his ‘rock the baby’ celebration after scoring on Beverley. In response, Beverley again crashed into Westbrook’s legs which seemed more intentional then their previous one. A heated conversation sparked and both had to be separated jut to see some technicals being handed out.
Adding salt to the wound!
Then a year later when Westbrook was sent to Houston Rockets and asked about Beverley’s game in an interview, he did not mince his words at all. He said that Beverley did not play any defense and just ran around the court. He added that Beverley tricked the coaches into thinking he is someone special.
Following that statement and the next time the two met, Beverley went hard at Westbrook only to be fouled out early in the game. Westbrook gave him a sarcastic goodbye just to put salt on his wounds.
Since then they always went at each other’s throats any time they played. But in the 2021-22 season, when Westbrook was already getting booed by the Lakers, Beverley spiced it up by talking about Westbrook’s comments on his tweets and gave some more salt to his injuries. Later that season, when they faced off against each other in the regular season and lost, Westbrook could only throw words while Beverley gave Russell a taste of his own medicine.
Now that they are playing side-by-side, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see them fight in between matches amongst themselves. Although they said that the past was water under the bridge, they still have some animosity against each other. Let’s see how the Lakers function in the next season.