Last night, the resurgence of an on-going feud between Russell Westbrook and Patrick Beverley reared its ugly head during the first regular-season meeting between the Oklahoma City Thunder and Los Angeles Clippers.
For over half a decade, Beverley and Westbrook have had both on-court spats and a war of words throughout various media outlets and interviews. Now, it looks like their beef could be worse than ever after what took place during last night’s matchup between the Clippers and Thunder which resulted in a 128-110 Thunder win.
Despite Beverley’s reputation as a defensive stopper, Russell Westbrook played an effective game statistically, notching 32 points, dishing eight assists while adding three steals to his stat sheet. But the Oklahoma City Thunder guard’s night could have potentially been cut short if Beverley would have made contact with Russ during just one reckless play in the fourth quarter.
Beverley’s Dive For The Ball Could Have Had Serious Repercussions
Close to the six-minute mark in the fourth quarter between the Clippers and Thunder, Russell Westbrook can be spotted at the top of the key with the ball in his possession. Westbrook makes a cut towards the basket but fumbles the handle forcing him to recover the ball before making any further actions. Beverley, who was guarding Paul George at the time, dives towards the nearly recovered ball barely missing Westbrook’s knees causing them both to fall on the hardwood.
Beverley was whistled for the foul but that wasn’t enough for Westbrook. The former NBA MVP addressed Beverley directly confronting him about his intentions on the play. Both parties were forced to be separated and were hit with individual technical fouls. Fortunately, the two were able to end the game without a physical altercation taking place or even worse, a serious injury occurring.
Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time that Beverley has made a dive at Russell Westbrook’s knees during their longtime disdain for each other.
The Patrick Beverley Dive That Ended Westbrook’s 2013 NBA Season & Playoff Run
During the first round of the 2013 NBA Playoff series between the Oklahoma City Thunder and Houston Rockets (Patrick Beverley’s former squad), Beverley made a questionable side-swipe steal attempt toward Westbrook resulting in Beverley’s hip coming into full contact with Westbrook’s knee.
Instantaneously, Westbrook knew his season was over as he hobbled towards the scorer’s table pounding the desk in frustration. Westbrook had a few choice words for Beverley who had retreated to his team’s bench. Unfortunately, this injury ended Russell Westbrook’s season and Kevin Durant was forced to lead the Thunder into the Western Conference SemiFinals, where they were bounced out of the playoffs by the Memphis Grizzlies who dominated the series 4-1.
Prior to the Westbrook injury, the Long Beach, CA-bred combo guard was averaging a total of 23.2 points per game on nearly 44% shooting from the field. There’s no telling what the OKC Thunder could have done if they stayed healthy that year.
With this becoming a recurring theme in the Westbrook/Beverley beef, the question has to be asked…
Is Patrick Beverley Playing Hard or Dirty?
Honestly, there’s no way of telling from a basketball fan’s perspective or from an analytical point-of-view. Beverley is known for doing all the dirty work and executing all of the handy work necessary in games that aren’t reflective on the stat sheet. But, is he taking things too far when it comes to his spat with Russell Westbrook?
Playing hard and diving for loose balls is one thing and a necessity in certain in-game situations but this particular scenario might have justified Westbrook’s frustration with Beverley. With that said, check out the best/worst moments of the Patrick Beverley/Russell Westbrook feud in the video below and let us know if you think Beverley’s fourth-quarter dive for the ball was warranted in the comment section below.