The Chicago Bulls continued their West Coast road trip in style on Sunday night, stealing a 118-108 win from the Los Angeles Lakers at the former Staples Center. In doing so, they spoiled LeBron James‘ return to action after a month spent on the sidelines with a right foot injury.
Of course, James wasn’t the only person making a return, as Bulls point-man Patrick Beverley played his first game in La La land since the Lakers sent him packing ahead of the NBA trade deadline.
He acquitted himself well, too, scoring 10 points on 4-of-7 shooting to go along with five assists, four rebounds, a steal and zero turnovers in 23 minutes of action. However, his best moment actually came between plays.
With just over a minute remaining in the contest and the Bulls owning possession, Beverley drove into the paint, faked a pass to Zach LaVine out on the perimeter and then hit LeBron with a spin move for good measure, after which he dropped a jump hook in over the top of him.
Afterward, Beverley trolled LeBron with a “too small” taunt, dropping his hand low to the hardwood and flashing an impish grin as he stared the Lakers star down.
Needless to say, fans had some big feelings about Pat Bev’s actions.
Fans Are Going Wild After Bulls’ Patrick Beverley Calls the Lakers’ LeBron James ‘Too Small’
Bulls fans — and, let’s face it, some LeBron haters — were raving over Beverley’s big moment against James on Sunday night. In the immediate aftermath of the game and Pat Bev’s troll job, Twitter was flush with people hyping up the exchange.
“Pat Bev is a f*****g menace, and I love it… never change Patrick Beverley. Never change,” read one fan tweet.
“I don’t like Pat Bev…but I love this…can’t be mad at him at all,” confessed another tweeter.
“Pat Bev living his best life lol,” a third comment read. “Pure comedy.”
“Hate to say it, but this would have never happened to Jordan. Trust me, I hate when people do this type of thing, but enough is enough. The two are just different when it comes to their mindset and approach to the game,” wrote a fourth fan.
Clearly, not everyone was down with what Beverley did.
“Pat Beverly also celebrates winning the play-in tournament like winning game seven of the Finals. Today is the apex of his season. I’m sure he had champagne in the locker room,” wrote one detractor.
B/R Picks Bulls to Sneak Into the Playoffs
Bleacher Report’s Dan Favale just dropped a list of “bold predictions” entering the final two weeks of the regular season. And one of those predicitions was for the Bulls to survive the play-in tournament and capture a spot in the NBA Playoffs.
Favale did attach many prerequisites, qualifiers and asterisks to the pick, however, and added the following:
Emotionally invest yourself in the peskier Bulls with a metric ton of salt. And definitely don’t financially invest in them. But this prediction isn’t presupposing they’ll win a first-round playoff series against Milwaukee, Boston or Philadelphia. It’s just saying they’ll get there — something FiveThirtyEight projects they have a 23 percent chance of doing. Plus, on some level, this isn’t just about Chicago. It’s also about a dearth of trust in Brooklyn (seventh), Atlanta (eighth) and Toronto (ninth).