For years, point guards Russell Westbrook and Patrick Beverly clashed on the basketball court, fueled by a history of animosity. Their feud originated from Westbrook’s belief that Beverly attempted to injure him during the 2012-2013 NBA playoffs. Subsequent incidents only added to the tension between them.
The dynamic changed drastically when the Los Angeles Lakers acquired Beverly in a trade last season, forging an unexpected alliance between the two players. Despite their prior differences, both Westbrook and Beverly adopted a more harmonious tone publicly, gradually navigating their newfound partnership. Their mutual respect overshadowed past grievances, reflecting a mature evolution.
Recently, Patrick Beverly emerged as a defender of Russell Westbrook, pushing back against the unwarranted criticism Westbrook faced during his tenure with the Lakers. Westbrook bore an undue share of blame for the team’s struggles, which Beverly ardently contested.
Appearing on The Gilbert Arenas Show, Beverly rejected the derogatory “Westbrick” nickname that has lingered throughout Westbrook’s career due to his perceived inconsistency in hitting jump shots. Beverly’s rationale rested on Westbrook’s respectable performance shooting beyond the three-point line, where he maintained a 40% success rate.
However, Beverly’s assertion rested on a flawed premise—Russell Westbrook has never achieved such high accuracy from beyond the arc. Notably, the peak of Westbrook’s three-point shooting accuracy was 34.3% during the 2016-2017 season with the Oklahoma City Thunder. A more generous assessment could credit him with a 35.6% rate over 21 games with the Los Angeles Clippers in the previous season. Despite Beverly’s well-intentioned defense of his former teammate, factual inaccuracies marred his argument. The “Westbrick” moniker does not hinge on Westbrook’s shooting ability.
The narrative surrounding Russell Westbrook has endured distortion since his time with the Lakers. As he continues to take to the basketball court, perhaps it’s time to allow him to simply focus on playing the game he loves, free from the cloud of misconceptions and doubts.