Patrick Beverley sure didn’t waste any time jumping on the Chris Paul slander wagon following Phoenix’ Game 7 loss to Dallas. Pat Bev was up bright and early on ESPN, throwing jab after jab after jab at long-time rival CP3. Nowadays, it feels like we hear the phrase, “keep it real,” far too often, but Beverley did just that. He did not hold back when it came to breaking down Paul.
As we know, Beverley is never at a loss for words, whether he’s on the court, on Twitter, or on television. Beverley joined ESPN’s Get Up with Mike Greenberg, Stephen A. Smith, and J.J. Reddick Monday morning and gave his analysis of what we witnessed the night before. Pat Bev claims Paul should’ve been benched in one clip because the Suns weren’t getting anything from him.
It’s hard to argue against Beverley’s point because Paul was passive all game. He attempted eight shots in Game 7 and seven in Game 6. While Paul isn’t known as a dominant scorer, he’s been known to heat up and take over when needed. We saw that side of Paul last year in the playoffs multiple times. It looked like Paul ran out of steam after game two against the Mavs, as he turned 37 that same day. May 6 came and went and took Chris’s game in the process.
Becoming a talking head suits Beverley perfectly after his NBA career is finished. He’s been exactly that his entire time in the league. Although Beverley is known for intense defense, often picking up ball handlers full court, Pat Bev’s most valuable asset has been his mouth. He’s been blessed with the gift of gab and isn’t afraid to let his voice ring bells in opponents’ ears.
Mr. 94 feet even claimed that nobody in the NBA sweats facing Paul, leading into a game against the Suns. I’m not sure how true that is since Paul is highly respected around the league. This time a year ago, Paul’s name was being entered into the conversation of the greatest point guards of all time with names like Magic Johnson, Isiah Thomas, and Stephen Curry. One year later, he’s being trashed on national tv by a journeymen guard who won’t even get an invite to visit the Hall of Fame when he’s done playing.
We must realize this rivalry between Beverley and Paul goes back many years, even before the NBA. Beverley was a guest on Reddick’s podcast, The Old Man & the Three, during the regular season, and he explained how the beef got started from his point of view.
“You know Chris, so people don’t understand. Me and Chris, what we have has been going on since high school,” Beverley said. “A lot of people don’t understand the backstory, but me and Chris, we definitely understand the backstory. I got invited to a LeBron James camp, the big Nike LeBron James camp, when we was in college... Chris Paul was there. I killed him. Destroyed him... Then I see him in the NBA, so of course, that energy is gonna roll over to the NBA.”
So, this isn’t some grudge that sprung up over the past few years. Knowing all this, it comes as no surprise that Beverley pushed Paul in the back during Game 6 of the Western Conference Finals last postseason. Not that he was right to do it, but I get it. Paul isn’t squeaky clean himself, and Beverly wants to make sure everyone understands this. CP3's had more than one incident where his sportsmanship has been questioned. And they’ve usually revolved around targeting opposing players below the belt.
Pat even went at one of Paul’s calling cards during his rant, downplaying CP3s ability to defend. Paul is a nine-time All-Defensive selection. So, who’s to say if this is just the rivalry talking or if Pat Bev actually believes this? Beverly’s had his own defensive prowess called out in the past, most notably by Russell Westbrook a couple of years ago when he said Beverley fools people and doesn’t actually defend anybody. So, while Beverley was undoubtedly entertaining in what he said, I’m not so sure about that last part. But after Paul’s most recent five-game stretch, it’ll be hard to convince Beverley otherwise.