Patrick Beverley and Russell Westbrook were once heated enemies, but the Los Angeles Lakers guards have come a long way ahead of their first season playing alongside each other.
The beef between Westbrook and Beverley can be traced back years, with maybe the most prominent moment coming back in 2019. Westbrook — then with the Rockets — called out the defensive-minded Beverley after James Harden dropped 47 points.
“Pat Bev trick y’all, man, like he plays defense,” Westbrook said at the time. “He don’t guard nobody, man. It’s just running around doing nothing.”
The two had run-ins following the comments and Beverely said the statement from Westbrook changed his reputation around the league.
“After that, people were just taking the ball, just going at me,” Beverley said on the “The Old Man and the Three” podcast with JJ Redick in March, prior to teaming up with Westbrook. “I’m like, what the f—? All because of what one person said. … He damaged my career. Like, coaching staffs and players, fans, they looked at me way different. They looked at me like, ‘You know what? He don’t play defense. He just yells and runs around.’ And held onto that and held onto that. And some people still do.”
Westbrook, Beverley Put Differences Aside With Lakers
Despite the animosity, it appears the tension is behind the two guards. Beverley detailed his relationship with Westbrook during Lakers media day, going as far to dub him his best friend.
“You can’t really take everything you do in the game and put it in real life,” Beverley told reporters. “Since I’ve been here … if I was to have a best friend on the team right now, for sure it’d be him. We spend the most time together. We’ve been locked and lift weights together and all that stuff. So I’m super excited.”
Beverley joked that the two had a fairytale outing on a boat that helped squash their beef.
“We went on this boat ride, you feel me? It was just us two. It was real intimate,” Beverley said. “It was 2,000 candles, you feel me? He landed in a helicopter. I came in one of my underwater vessels. We talked three hours over wine. He had a two-Michelin-star chef come pull up, cook some steaks. I had my chef pull up and make the desserts. And that’s how we got to where we are now.”
Beverley did get real on when their relationship turned around, pointing to a game where Westbrook gifted his sister courtside seats.
“I look at my sister, she’s on the floor, he gave her her seats,” Beverley told Spectrum SportsNet. “[Didn’t] know me from a can of paint. … From that point on [the relationship improved].”
Patrick Beverley Trolls LeBron James Over Block
Beverley was also asked about his favorite “LeBron James moment” by Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports. He pointed to a block he had on “The King” in 2019 while with the Clippers, which gave James a giggle.
“Yo, man. What’s wrong with Pat, man?” James said. “Pat got a problem, man. He got issues.”
The Lakers were in a good mood during media day, displaying an optimistic mindset heading into the year. But with some big personalities on the roster, there could be some serious tension if things go south.
And one of the biggest points of contention could be the starting point guard spot, which Beverley and Westbrook are in consideration for. Westbrook has started every game since his rookie year but there’s a chance he comes off the bench, with either Beverley, Dennis Schroder, or someone else getting the starting nod.