Timberwolves

Patrick Beverley Just Turned the Wolves Into Villians

Photo Credit: Nick Wosika-USA TODAY Sports

As the final horn sounded, Patrick Beverley ran to the scorers table. Standing atop it, Beverley screamed passionately to the sold-out Target Center, before flinging his game-worn jersey into the sea of Minnesota Timberwolves fans. Returning back to floor-level, he made his way through the flooded court to the locker room, tears visible in his eyes. But before he made his exit, he made sure to stop on his way to the locker room to give his mother a warm, heartfelt hug.

He’d done it.

With a 109-104 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers, Patrick Beverley had gotten the best of his former team; the same team who felt he was undeserving of an adequate contract extension just a few months earlier.

If you didn’t know it, you’d have thought Pat Bev had just helped lead Minnesota to their first ever NBA Championship that night. Instead, the Timberwolves had merely won their first-ever game in the league’s newly-implemented play-in tournament.

Beverley sipped a Bud Light in the postgame press conference. Sitting beside him? Teammate Anthony Edwards who, at just 20-years of age, isn’t even old enough to legally drink. But Beverley didn’t care, nor did Edwards seem to mind. It wasn’t champagne. But for Patrick Beverley, it was pretty damn close.

NBA Twitter was quick to slam Beverley, a seasoned veteran player, for his emotional, booze-filled celebration after helping his team secure the 7th-seed.

In his eyes, he wasn’t overly emotional. Instead, Beverley felt as if his actions following his team’s play-in game simply showcased how passionate he is about the game of basketball, and the Timberwolves organization as a whole.

But just over a month removed from the Wolves’ play-in appearance, Patrick Beverley has earned himself a few more critics.

On Monday morning, Patrick Beverley joined Mike Greenberg and Stephen A. Smith on ESPN’s Get Up to discuss some trending topics in today’s game. When asked about the Phoenix Suns’ blowout loss to the Dallas Mavericks, and what it meant for Chris Paul, Beverley had some choice words.

“Ain’t nobody worried about Chris Paul when you play the Phoenix Suns,” he said. “Nobody in the NBA… He can’t guard. He literally can’t guard.”

His response sent NBA Twitter into a frenzy. But in some respects, Pat Bev was right. Paul, a nine-time All-Defensive team member, struggled defensively against Dallas’ offensive game plan, which targeted the 37-year old on nearly every possession. But who does he think he is?! And the answer to that is Patrick freakin’ Beverley.

There’s always been an apparent conflict between Chris Paul and Patrick Beverley. From Beverley and other assets being shipped from Houston to Los Angeles in exchange for Paul, to being ejected for the first game of the season due to shoving CP3 in the back during Game 6 of last year’s Western Conference Finals, one can see why Pat Bev would say what he said on national TV.

I’m a high school teacher, and I frequently have to remind my students that they have to be careful about what they say. Words come with consequences, and high school kids often blurt out the first thing that comes to their young minds. For Patrick Beverley, his choice of words that he spewed on ESPN have brought both him and the Timberwolves organization a lot of public attention.

While Pat Bev’s name continues to trend on social media and on the airwaves of ESPN, it’s important to remember that it’s okay for him to rub players the wrong way. Or the media. Or opposing fans. The only thing that matters is that he continues to be a fan-favorite in Minnesota. Beverley helped lift the Wolves to their first playoff series in four years. And now he’s drawing attention to an organization that has largely been ignored by the national media since the infamous Jimmy Butler practice fiasco. The Timberwolves don’t have to be the darling team of the NBA. They just need to be recognized as something besides the team stuck in mediocrity after passing on Stephen Curry in the draft, twice.

Patrick Beverley’s comments on ESPN’s Get Up regarding Chris Paul’s play in Game 7 shouldn’t be that big of a surprise. He’s always been one of the more vocal players in today’s game, and no one should have expected anything less to come from the mouth of the junkyard dog himself. But his remarks have definitely placed a target not just on his back, but on the backs of the entire Minnesota Timberwolves organization. The Wolves will need to be readily prepared to face the effects of No. 22’s strong-minded opinion of one of the greatest point guards of all time.

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Photo Credit: Nick Wosika-USA TODAY Sports

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