In a completely unsurprising update, Patrick Beverley has been suspended three games for walking up and shoving Deandre Ayton as the latter stood over Austin Reaves after a collision in the Lakers’ 115-105 loss to the Phoenix Suns on Tuesday night.
Here is the NBA’s statement in full:
Los Angeles Lakers guard Patrick Beverley has been suspended three games without pay for forcefully shoving Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton from behind and knocking him to the court, it was announced today by Joe Dumars, Executive Vice President, Head of Basketball Operations. The suspension was based in part on Beverley’s history of unsportsmanlike acts.
The incident, for which Beverley was assessed a technical foul and ejected, occurred with 3:55 remaining in the fourth quarter of the Lakers’ 115-105 loss to the Suns on Nov. 22 at Footprint Center.
Beverley will begin serving his suspension Nov. 25 when the Lakers face the San Antonio Spurs at AT&T Center.
To view the incident, click on the following link: https://www.nba.com/watch/video/lakers-vs-suns-11-22-22
It would be pretty hard to earnestly argue this wasn’t deserved. Beverley was standing up for his teammate, and the rest of the Lakers clearly appreciated him for it, but you can’t just walk up and shove a guy to start a sideline fracas and not get punished. Whatever precipitated it and however warranted or unwarranted one thinks the shove might have been on basketball grounds, the league was always going to issue a punishment for this.
And they’re not wrong to, honestly. If they didn’t, stuff like this would be more common, and no one wants that.
For his part, Beverley mostly defended his actions on Tuesday night, albeit while calling the situation “unfortunate” multiple times, and expressing regret it happened on national TV:
"I'm a big fan of protecting my teammates." Pat Beverley talks about the scuffle with Deandre Ayton and the Suns. pic.twitter.com/VqCeDshZAg— Spectrum SportsNet (@SpectrumSN) November 23, 2022
With Beverley out, the Lakers will have to find a new starter in the backcourt, although the likely return of LeBron James could just make that lineup decision for them. If James remains out, expect Kendrick Nunn and/or Dennis Schröder to claim Beverley’s slot with the starters.
As the NBA’s statement mentioned, the Lakers next take on the Spurs in San Antonio on Friday and Saturday evenings, respectively. And now we know they will do so without Beverley.