If you follow some accounts on Twitter that even slightly discuss the NBA, then you’ve probably seen many clips of Minnesota Timberwolves guard Patrick Beverley talking on a variety of ESPN television shows over the last 24-48 hours.
Mostly, you’ll see Beverley absolutely eviscerating Chris Paul following the Phoenix Suns’ collapse in Game 7 of their second-round playoff series against the Dallas Mavericks. Beverley took his opportunity on ESPN’s airwaves to talk about how bad CP3’s defense is and how everyone essentially views him as “a cone” following a string of very poor individual games that ended in the Suns’ elimination from the playoffs.
However, Beverley also discussed the Lakers in a couple of different instances. For one, he said if there was any other team he could play for other than his current team in the Timberwolves... he would choose to play with LeBron James and the rest of the Lakers.
For Lakers fans who have come around on Beverley since his days of antagonizing the purple-and-gold while playing across the hall as a member of the Clippers, this statement may have put a smile on their faces. But after his second reference to the Lakers... that smile would have almost certainly turned into a scowl.
Because when ESPN analyst JJ Redick was discussing how the Lakers shipped out plenty of assets for Anthony Davis with that trade ultimately resulting in the 2020 championship... Beverley interjected with a couple of phrases commonly used by Twitter trolls to discount the Lakers’ victory in the Orlando bubble.
Beverley: “Bubble championship.”
JJ Redick: "[The Lakers] had a treasure trove of young players. They put ‘em all on the table to get Anthony Davis and they won a championship—”— Tomer Azarly (@TomerAzarly) May 16, 2022
Patrick Beverley interrupts: "Bubble championship."
JJ and Pat then go back and forth about asterisks on titles pic.twitter.com/w0PW3SoitN
Redick then goes on to point out that there are plenty of championships throughout the league’s history that you can devalue with hypothetical asterisks given certain injuries that have occurred throughout the years. The conversation between Redick and Beverley in this regard gets a little convoluted, with some silly Max Kellerman interjections not really helping.
Randomly, Beverley gets back to his point about why the Lakers’ championship should have an asterisk, saying the following:
“But there’s no fans! There’s no fans. What about our fans? Some of the best fans in the world! Some of the best fans in the world. Do you think Milwaukee is walking into Boston... in the bubble?”
Beverley doesn’t really do a good job of eloquently concluding his point, randomly asking the Bucks and Celtics hypothetical after his point about the bubble having no fans.
I’m assuming he meant to reference the fact that the Bucks beat the Celtics in the 2020 NBA Playoffs, implying that it was a result that definitely wouldn’t have happened in a series with the Boston faithful involved. This point is somewhat strengthened by the Celtics’ recent playoff series victory over the Bucks that ended in a convincing win in the TD Garden.
Lakers aside... this could have been a decent argument... if the Bucks and Celtics ever played during the 2020 NBA Playoffs. The Bucks were sent home by the Heat in the Eastern Conference semi-finals before the Heat eventually beat the Celtics in the conference’s finals.
Beverley may have remembered this much more clearly if he wasn’t on the Clippers at the time, fighting to help the team win its franchise’s first-ever championship. We all know how that effort from the Clippers ended: With the team collapsing in the Western Conference semi-finals, letting the Denver Nuggets come all the way back from a 3-1 series deficit. The result made everyone on NBA Twitter laugh their asses off, while the Lakers players themselves apparently had the same reaction.
As Beverley is one of the NBA’s most evident and prolific trolls, it’s not surprising to hear him use the same rhetoric about the 2020 championship spewed onto Twitter by the many trolls that make up that app.
It’s even less surprising when considering his history of poking fun at the Lakers, with those barbs not ending after his run with the Clippers as he called Russell Westbrook trash during a game against the T’Wolves this year and Tweeted about the Lakers being in Cancun following Minnesota’s play-in victory over the Clippers.
Going back to Beverley’s “point”, sure... a team’s fans hypothetically could have changed the way that the 2020 NBA Playoffs would have gone if they were played under normal circumstances. However, this may have ended up helping the Lakers even more given the fact that they were the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference and would have had home court advantage over anyone other than the Bucks or Raptors in the Finals.
I’ve seen people misinterpret Beverley’s comment about “our fans,” thinking he means Clippers fans specifically. He’s obviously talking about the wider NBA fanbase, but still, it’s funny to hear a Clipper at the time talk about how fans could have caused the Lakers to not win it all given the fact that the arena formerly known as the Staples Center would be covered in purple-and-gold in every game of a theoretical Lakers-Clippers series.
But the reality is we’ll never know for sure. All we do know is this: No matter what one thinks of about the 2020 playoffs, “bubble” championships are still a hell of a lot better than “zero” championships.