Professional podcaster and part-time NBA player Patrick Beverley may have said his main goal after being traded by the Lakers was to knock the team out of the NBA playoffs entirely with the Bulls — even after he had already done so much to help with that task during his brickfest of a tenure on the team, it was a task he proved too small for — claimed he had actually demanded a trade after weeks of rumors he wanted to leave even before the Russell Westbrook trade, and then complained that Lakers fans were celebrating his downfall, but he still wants his championship ring if his former team goes all the way to the title.
As the latter revealed this week on his eponymous “The Pat Bev Podcast,” both former Lakers are hoping to get some jewelry if the Lakers can secure the 11 more playoff wins they need (as of the original publishing of this article) to raise their 18th championship banner:
PAT BEV JUST CONFIRMED HIM AND RUSSELL WESTBROOK ARE GETTING THEIR RINGS IF THE LAKERS WINS THE CHAMPIONSHIP THIS YEAR pic.twitter.com/hl3quXPdvi— chokzy (@chokzy2k) May 4, 2023
That desire will surely sound weird to some fans, but there is actually plenty of precedent for this. Most teams offer rings to all players who were on the roster during their title pursuit. For example, the Lakers offered rings to both DeMarcus Cousins (who did not play a second for the team following an offseason injury and was cut before the season even shut down to make a roster spot for Markieff Morris) and Avery Bradley (who did not go to the bubble with the Lakers) after they won in 2020.
And despite both Beverley and Westbrook’s Laker tenures being the NBA equivalent of training with a weighted vest so that one can sprint easily once it's removed, and no matter if Pat Bev has been an outward troll towards his former team after his departure while Russ has taken his own semi-veiled shots, the team should absolutely grant their wish if they are fortunate enough to win the title.
Ever since Rob Pelinka came on as general manager, he has spoken time and time again about wanting this to be a “players first” organization, a desire that team governor Jeanie Buss has clearly always shared with both her actions and words. It’s been one of the qualities that’s allowed them to get players to want to come aboard, and there is no reason to let a little pettiness get in the way of that. Or at least not in this blogger’s opinion (it wouldn’t be my money going to buy two extra diamond-encrusted baubles, after all).
Hell, send them to Kendrick Nunn, Juan Toscano-Anderson, Damian Jones, Thomas Bryant, Danny Ainge, and their top-four protected 2027 first-round pick when he graduates middle school. And, of course, buzzer-beating hero Matt Ryan, who gave the Lakers a play-in tiebreaker over the Pelicans. Giving all of them rings is the classy thing to do.
That said, if the Lakers actually do win a title — a task I’m not entirely sure Beverley is not trying to jinx — the Lakers should probably FedEx Westbrook and Beverley their rings. Something tells me that a pregame ceremony in their returns to The Crypt next season along with a tribute video to their, uh... storied... purple and gold tenures would not exactly draw raucous cheers from the fans in attendance.
Beverley can get “suited and booted” to pick his ring up from the mailbox in front of his house.
You can follow Harrison on Twitter at @hmfaigen.