The acquisition of Patrick Beverley this offseason for the Lakers was one of the most surprising in recent memory given how much he’d been viewed as an enemy of the franchise in recent seasons. Not only did he previously play for other Angeleno franchise, he spent a game late last season jeering Russell Westbrook and the Lakers as his Timberwolves gave the Lakers the business.
Individually, Beverley has had some notable moments squaring off one-on-one against LeBron, including a memorable game-sealing block on Christmas Day in 2019. In an interview with Spectrum SportsNet during media day on Monday, LeBron revealed that Pat Bev is now the third former foe who’s become his teammate.
There’s three guys, now three, that I hated playing against, and then I became their teammate and I love them. Kendrick Perkins. Hated him in Boston, I still hate Boston, don’t get that twisted, we all hate Boston. (James Worthy: yes we do) Number two was Lance Stephenson, who became my teammate here. And now, Patrick Beverley. And to be able to have him here, when you talk about every single night, we’re going to compete, that energy is going to come from Pat Bev. Because you can’t look at a guy like that and see the way that he competes on a nightly basis and be half-assing it. It’s impossible. So for him to bring that energy, that toughness, and a guy that’s been in the postseason every year of his career. So he’s all about winning which I am, and which this franchise is.
As much as fans of the purple and gold may have disliked Pat Bev in recent seasons, none of their squabbles rose to the level of those between LeBron and Lance Stephenson before they joined up in Los Angeles.
After all, only one opponent ever blew into LeBron’s ear, and it wasn’t Pat Bev.
Stephenson’s time alongside LeBron didn’t end all that well. Kendrick Perkins’ one-and-a-half seasons with LeBron led to two Finals trips, but Perk was, uh, hardly a factor in either of those.
Pat Bev is probably the most effective role player that LeBron has played with of the three, and brings a level of competitive energy that few others in the league can match.
In many ways, Beverley’s arrival is reminiscent of the relationship Kobe Bryant had with Ron Artest and Matt Barnes. Both pushed the buttons of Kobe as opponents before joining forces with him, resulting in a pair of successful partnerships. In particular, Artest played a crucial role in helping Kobe secure his fifth and final championship in 2010, his first season with the Lakers.
Here’s to LeBron, Pat Bev, and the Lakers having a similarly successful meeting of the minds this season after a disastrous 2021-22 season.