Veteran Chicago Bulls point guard Patrick Beverley says we can thank him for a big part of Philadelphia 76ers star James Harden’s game.
“There was a time when he wasn’t even shooting step-backs,” Beverley said during the ‘Pat Bev Podcast with Rone’ on March 22. “We was playing 1-on-1s, we’re playing [by] 1s and s***…This my first two years in the NBA, and every move I did I finished with a step-back.”
The two were teammates on the Houston Rockets for five seasons from 2013 to 2017. Those Rockets teams went to the playoffs every year even reaching the Western Conference Finals in 2015 before Beverley was traded along with Montrezl Harrell, Lou Williams, four other players, and a first-round pick to the Los Angeles Clippers for Chris Paul.
Before all of that though, it was apparently the NBA rookie in Beverley that left an already-accomplished Harden feeling inquisitive.
“Why the f*** you always stepping back,” Harden asked according to Beverley.
“I hit him, maybe a year ago, ‘Hey, remember when you asked me why I keep stepping back?’ He [said], ‘Aw, yeah. You was on to something…That’s brodie. That’s the bro, man.”
Beverley is always great for a story and there may be some truth to this one.
Working in favor of its veracity, there is strong documentation of Harden incorporating the signature move right around the time Beverley and Harden became teammates, though it does come in the form of recollection via ESPN’s Tim McMahon in 2017:
THE STEP-BACK 3 isn’t something that Harden developed over the summer. It’s a move that has been years in the making, a priority for Harden since he arrived in Houston, knowing he needed to expand his repertoire as he made the transition from Thunder sixth man to Rockets go-to guy. Rockets player development coach Irv Roland, who travels with Harden throughout the offseason, has incorporated step-backs into every single drill since Harden was traded to Houston in October 2012.
McMahon did cite metrics noting that Harden went from attempting 13 step-back triples during his three seasons with the Oklahoma City Thunder.
That number jumped to 33 during his first season in Houston in 2012.
While we may never know for sure whether or not it was Beverley that inspired Harden to make such heavy use of the move – he was also known for his controversial euro-step which, like his step-back, sparked many debates over what is a travel – the timelines do match up.
A Different Vibe for Patrick Beverley in Chicago
Beverley is averaging 5.9 points, 6.1 rebounds, and 3.7 assists since signing with the Bulls after the All-Star break helping guide them to an 8-5 record. Despite his modest stats – which included going scoreless in the blowout loss to the 76ers on March 22, though he did add five rebounds and a pair of assists – Beverley says he has loved his reception in his hometown.
He kicked off the win over the Miami Heat on March 18 by scoring 14 straight points finishing with 17 points, four assists, and three boards.
“After the game, I was like, ‘I want to relive that moment right now’,” said Beverley. “It was a high, bro. And not the points, and not how I came. I’m at the crib. Everybody in this b**** got my back. Feel me? I play a bad game with Chicago, I ain’t got to look on Twitter and be hearing, ‘He’s a bum, get him out of here’ like I was hearing that s*** in L.A. You know what I’m saying? I’m in Chicago, they got my back. It’s…‘He didn’t score but he did this.’ You know? They got my back so it’s appreciated.”
Patrick Beverley’s NSFW Pre-Game Ritual
Always an outspoken individual, Beverley also revealed his pre-game habits which included abstaining from one vice in particular.
“I don’t have s** the night before games,” Beverley revealed. “I want to have fresh [legs], you know? Wifey going to kill me though. It be hard though because you got [a] game every other day and s***. So, when I was in L.A….I don’t want to get in too deep of it but hey, wifey! …Shoutout to wifey, man.”
Beverley’s “wifey” is Mandana Bolourchi, a fashion model and social media influencer who could often be seen in attendance during his L.A. tenure.
He went on to discuss their history, though he declined to go too much into detail about their backstory, as well as her lavish lifestyle.
But Beverley’s revelation is surely the most jarring part of that discussion which came about as a result of Bulls legend Scottie Pippen’s ex-wife, Larsa Pippen, describing her private life with Marcus Jordan, the son of Michael Jordan.