The first round of the NBA playoffs came and went for the Minnesota Timberwolves. Patrick Beverley and company found themselves on the outside looking in after a 4-2 series loss to the Memphis Grizzlies. Beverley finished the series averaging 11 points per game shooting just under 43% from the field while collecting a respectable 1.2 steals per game in his first season with the T-Wolves. Normally a player from the No. 7 seed exiting the first round of the playoffs would not dominate the sports media. This is not a normal year and Patrick Beverley is anything but predictable. What makes the media blitz of Patrick Beverley all the more curious is the reason he is dominating the airwaves. This is not a case of a superstar alerting us as to where he is “taking his talents to,” next season. This is a case of a player creating buzz for himself by blasting one of his rivals.
The event that sparked the media flurry was Beverley’s appearance on ESPN’s show This Just In following the Suns game 7 loss to the Dallas Mavericks. Beverley stated that Chris Paul “… literally can’t guard anyone… What we call him? A cone.” He made the point that in the summertime you dribble around a cone and a cone can’t move. https://youtu.be/v4-5kEprU4E?t=196
One player verbally attacking another is not exactly newsworthy in today’s sports media culture. The reason that this is newsworthy is because of the amount of backlash he received after the interview. Philadelphia 76ers guard Danny Green responded to Beverley saying “Bro, people target you too Pat Bev, you ain’t playing no defense out there. You’re a cone too.” https://youtu.be/cZW7YAWUS20
What was the cause of the beef between Beverley and Chris Paul? One theory is that it began in the closing minutes of the 2021 Western conference finals between Beverley’s Los Angeles Clippers and the Phoenix Suns. During a timeout, Patrick Beverley shoves Chris Paul from behind earning an immediate ejection enroute to being eliminated by the Suns. While discussing the shove on JJ Redick’s podcast Beverley had this to say regarding CP3, “Chris, he does slick sh*t. People don’t know. That’s a dirty little motherf****r, man.”
According to Patrick Beverley however, the feud goes back much further than that. While speaking to Stephen A. Smith on Stephen A’s World, Beverley said the issues started while he was in college and attending a LeBron James showcase basketball camp. Beverley questioned why Chris Paul was never called for lackluster performances.
“I respect his game, but the praise that he gets and the slander that he doesn’t get when he doesn’t perform, it’s not the same as it is with every other superstar. And my question is why not?”
To be clear, Patrick Beverley has not limited his strong opinions to his beef with Chris Paul. Beverley took offense to the idea that James Harden is not worthy of a supermax deal. Appearing on ESPN’s First Take, Beverley argued that Harden deserves the supermax.
“Whatever the word is after supermax, that’s what you give him. He’s James Harden. He’s changed the game.”
He also chimed in on playing for Philadelphia 76ers head coach Doc Rivers stating “I’ve played for Doc. As a point guard, it’s extremely hard to play for Doc. Extremely hard. Because he demands so much, right?”
Beverley has gotten the attention of players from across the league with his opinions. Players such as Kevin Durant, Danny Green and Damian Lillard have all chimed in on the controversy. Beverley relishes the opportunity to get under the skin of his opponents, anointing himself the best trash talker in the league behind the Warrior’s Draymond Green. His brash on-court persona and outspokenness has earned him a platform in the media to express his thoughts on the current state of the NBA.
One of the things that makes Beverley such a good on-court player is his fierce and tenacious defense. He does not back down from a player and will often take on a player full court to disrupt his opponent’s offensive flow. Similarly, Beverley has not wavered regarding his statements at all and has even reiterated his stance in the face of criticism.
Following some back and forth banter with Matt Barnes, Beverley had the following to say, “For him to make comments supporting his opinion about the Chris Paul and all that I respect, I totally do, but you go up there and you tell your NBA brother, you go up there and you tell the whole world that this man doesn’t deserve his money when you was just in the NBA, I don’t know, eight, nine, 10 years ago? What if someone said that to you? You’d be ready to fight. But now, since you’re not in the league no more, it’s O.K. for you to talk about this man not giving the money he’s worked his entire life to deserve? I don’t understand that. Who raised you guys?”
The genius of Patrick Beverley is that he and his team were bounced out of the playoffs in the first round and yet he has garnered more media attention than anyone else in the NBA. There is arguably more coverage of him than there is of the NBA conference finals. Beverley has managed to control the narrative and get his ideas out into the mainstream media. Lost in all this is the fact that at 33 years old he has zero championships and exactly 1 conference finals appearance. His strong opinions have electrified the sports world and blown up across social media platforms. He certainly appears to be auditioning for his post NBA career as a sports analyst or talk show host. You can love or hate him, but you cannot ignore him. He has been able to parlay his frustration and anger towards CP3 into a potential media career the moment his NBA days are through.