Lakers

Lakers News: Watch Russell Westbrook’s First Dish To Patrick Beverley

Will there be any more?

Today at the the UCLA Health Training Center, your Los Angeles Lakers introduced their latest edition today in an eventful post-workout press conference. 10-year NBA veteran point guard Patrick Beverley, 34, spoke with gathered L.A. media for the first time as a Laker. He is, of course, no stranger to Crypto.com Arena, having suited up for four seasons on the Lakers’ home floor — as a Clipper.

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Beverley, who arrived to the Lakers in a two-for-one trade with the Utah Jazz, did take some time to address the difference in league-wide perception one receives when decked out in the purple-and-gold. Head coach Darvin Ham was also on-hand and raved about Beverley’s fit on a roster so bereft of shooting (though, of course, Ham did not talk about the team’s long-range deficiencies per se).

One of the wildest moments, however, involved Beverley’s new teammate Russell Westbrook. The 2017 MVP attended the presser in a show of support to the Lakers’ latest acquisition. This was somewhat surprising, given that (a) Beverley has ostensibly been brought in to replace Westbrook as a starter and (b) Beverley and Westbrook have traded barbs and elbows on and off the floor for almost decade as players.

Westbrook, a poor defender and jump shooter, is an inferior fit alongside LeBron James and Anthony Davis at this juncture in his career compared to Beverley, who thrives at both those things. Beverley’s 2.1 defensive box plus/minus rating last season placed him in the top 92nd percentile among all NBA players. He is also a career 37.8% three-point shooter on 4.2 attempts a night, though last season he made a more middling 34.3% of his triples (still much, much better than Westbrook’s egregious 29.8%). The Lakers have apparently been looking to trade Westbrook, but have been hesitant to offload both their 2027 and 2029 first-round draft picks in a deal. Should he stick around through at least the beginning of the season, it’s certainly in his best interest to play nice.

And play nice he did, at least during this initial public interaction as teammates. During one nice moment, as a sweaty post-workout Beverley addressed the media’s expectant microphones, Westbrook tossed him a fresh towel to appear more presentable.

Whether or not these two aging point guards will ever be able to enact this with an actual basketball while sharing the floor together as Lakers remains to be seen.

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