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Russell Westbrook showed up to greet new Lakers teammate Patrick Beverley and it was really weird

Patrick Beverley says he and Russell Westbrook are ready to squash the beef now that they’re both Lakers.

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Photo via Jovan Buha of The Athletic on Twitter.

The Los Angeles Lakers officially introduced new trade acquisition Patrick Beverley as a member of the team on Tuesday, and as they did so, there was an unexpected guest: 2017 NBA MVP and somehow still current Laker, Russell Westbrook.

While we knew that Westbrook and Beverley had at least talked since the latter was acquired in a trade almost two weeks ago, it was still a bit of a surprise that Westbrook was in attendance to welcome his old nemesis and (at least for now) current teammate. It was about as strange and surreal as you might expect, from Westbrook’s entrance, grinning to reporters with what can only be described as “yeah, I bet you thought I was gone” energy...

... to Beverley acknowledging the two will need to have “tough” conversations after a years-long feud that most recently bubbled up last year with Beverley calling Westbrook “trash” multiple times during a game while launching into exaggerated celebrations of his air balls.

To his credit, Beverley was very much trying to say all the right things:

I am frankly surprised that towel did not hit a reporter, who then ran it back for a layup, but I digress.

But seriously, Beverley and Westbrook’s completely stiff dap/hug as the former exited the room was a reminder that this is a very, very weird dynamic for everyone involved.

It reminded many of another great moment in NBA rivals greeting each other:

But after watching that clip in slow motion multiple times, I am not positive Westbrook and Beverley even made eye contact a single time. Honestly, the only reason I can think of seeing a greeting between teammates that was more apparently awkward and forced than that is because of the recent viral clip the internet is convinced is Harry Styles spitting on his “Don’t Worry Darling” co-star Chris Pine.

So hey, I guess this moment could have gone worse, right? At least no one pulled Styles/Rondo. For the Lakers these days, that qualifies as good news.

For now, there are just a few more weeks til training camp, when we’ll find out if these two are actually going to play together. But if Westbrook is ultimately traded, at least we’ll always have that sweaty first (and possibly only) dime.

For more Lakers talk, subscribe to the Silver Screen and Roll podcast feed on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher or Google Podcasts. You can follow Harrison on Twitter at @hmfaigen.

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