The Los Angeles Lakers got frustrated and Patrick Beverley’s cheap shot on Deandre Ayton led to the guard’s ejection.
The Lakers have gone through all of the proverbial stages of basketball grief one could see coming their way this season.
They started it with both of their coveted first-round picks in their coffers after failing to make a trade. They eventually sent Russell Westbrook to the bench after watching him waste possessions. They have been navigating a LeBron James injury. On and on it goes…
And now, in the latest development under the bright lights of Hollywood, they have gotten to witness the full Pat Bev Experience.
With a little under four minutes left in the fourth quarter of their game at Phoenix on Tuesday night (and 10 points down), Austin Reaves dribbled a ball into the Suns’ paint.
Reaves faked a shot in the face of Devin Booker. Booker didn’t budge. Reaves decided to actually go for the shot once and for all. Booker swatted the effort with a move that ended in a shooting-foul call. Putting the cherry on top of the sequence, the All-Star guard thought that it’d be nice to stand a little bit disrespectfully over Reaves while staring at him as he remained on the floor, destructed and demoralized after suffering that block.
Deandre Ayton, a very tall man that happens to play for the Phoenix Suns, was close to Reaves’ falling spot and also decided to stand over Reaves while slapping the ball fiercely as he walked toward the lying Laker.
If you watched the little clip above, you’d have perceived how there is a void footage between that narration and what you saw next, only separated by overly excited Kenvin Harlan and Reggie Miller shouting all sorts of reactions. That “next” could very well be described as bedlam.
Here is what actually led to the scuffle.
Yes, that’s Patrick Beverley shoving Ayton without giving him half a second of notice and leading up to the guard getting ejected after completing a “hostile act” on the Suns’ center.
It was not the first time Patrick Beverley attacked a defenseless Phoenix Suns player behind the back
Asked about the whole situation after the game, Beverly said that “[the Lakers] got a person on the ground, two people looking over mean-mugging and puffing their chest out and referees don’t get into it to kind of separate it, control the game, so I’m going to stand up for my teammate.” That’s the way Pat Bev operates.
Caught in the heat of the moment, Beverly did what he has done in the pastcoincidentally against the same Phoenix Suns in July 2021.
Devin Booker, after the play was reviewed by the referees, was handed a flagrant foul 1 for his block on Reaves, while Beverley got a technical foul and was ejected. Ayton went away with another tech.
Reaves got “hit in the nose” by his own telling of what happened on the court before everyone went bananas. He also said that “I was on the ground. And when I did turn around, I saw Pat have my back of him, which I love, ”after the game, explaining the whole development.
“He’s a team player,” Reaves said. “He rocks with who he rocks with.”
Booker and the Suns clearly didn’t think the same about Patrick Beverley’s antics.
“Pat needs to stop pushing people in the back,” Booker said in an on-court, post-game interview. “Push them in the chest. That’s all I got to say.”
Ayton, who was on the receiving end of Beverley’s cheap shot, said that “He ain’t hurt me, he didn’t take nothing out of my pocket and I ain’t react.” Then, in a tough act, Ayton said that “I love it. I’m playing hard. I didn’t say anything for you to push me. I’m playing hard. For me, it’s between the lines.”
The big man also stated that he has “seen these moments 100 times. CP was in a moment like this,” referring to that 2021 action on Chris Paul in the postseason game against Beverley’s then-team Los Angeles Clippers.
Trying to close the story, Beverley told the media that “I’m not going back and forth with all of that,” when he was presented with Devin Booker’s comments on Tuesday’s play and, by extension, the underlying reference to the prior one on Paul back in 2021.
Beverley also said that “for sure” he expects the NBA to punish him, and that the affray was “very unprofessional by myself,” before adding that he “definitely could have reacted in a different way.”