Patrick Beverley is the man tasked with improving the Los Angeles Lakers perimeter defense this season, along with helping raise the intensity level of the locker room.
In fairness, we saw Beverley’s impact firsthand last season, as his presence helped transform a porous Minnesota Timberwolves defense into a respectable entity across the league – thus helping the franchise reach the NBA playoffs.
However, despite Beverley’s impact last season, he was overlooked throughout the Defensive Player of the Year discussion and had to watch fellow guard, Marcus Smart, become the first guard to win the award since Gary Payton in 1996.
“Part of me was p***** the f*** off, Dray. I ain’t gonna lie, bro. I’d be a fool not to sit—from a competitor’s standpoint, I’d be a cap sitting on here telling you I wasn’t p***** off when that happened. Not from like, I don’t want him to get it, from like, ‘Damn, I’m happy a guard got it, but damn, I’ve been sitting right here. I’ve been sitting right here for years.’ But I respect it. A guard got it. So now, what do I have to do now? Do I have to block more shots,” Beverley said on an October 7 appearance on the Draymond Green Show Podcast.
In what would have been another blow to Beverley – Smart won the award following his first full season as the Boston Celtics‘ starting point guard, even though Beverley has been a starter on several teams, and has always earned rave reviews for his defensive ability, intensity, and on-court leadership.
Still, for Lakers fans, they should be encouraged that Beverley feels a type of way over Smart’s award because that means they’re going to get the best version of Beverley, which is precisely what the team needs right now.