Neither got what they were looking for. And for now, they’re teammates on the Lakers.
The Lakers acquired Beverley in a trade Wednesday night, sending Talen Horton-Tucker and Stanley Johnson to the Utah Jazz.
In the 2013 playoffs, as Westbrook crossed the half-court line and pulled up to call a timeout, Beverley manically zoomed toward the All-Star guard and barreled into him, trying to poke the ball out before a referee could blow his whistle.
Westbrook immediately started to hobble and pounded the scorer’s table. He’d torn his meniscus — and Beverley ignited a round of controversy.
Was this dirty? There’s playing hard, but was this too hard?
“A lot of people do it throughout the league,” Beverley told reporters that night. “I don’t go out to try and hurt anybody. I tried to make a play on the ball.”
The following March, during a regular-season game between Houston and Oklahoma City, Beverley tried the same thing. Westbrook was livid.
Following that, the two routinely antagonized each other — Westbrook with his rock-the-baby celebration, Beverley with his pestering, physical style.
Usually, the two would battle on the court, bark at each other and — more often than not — earn a technical foul.
The most direct conflict between the two came in 2019, after Houston’s James Harden scored 47 points against the Clippers.
“Pat Bev trick y’all, man, like he playing defense,” Westbrook told reporters after that game. “He don’t guard nobody, man. It’s just running around, doing nothing.”
Beverley went on J.J. Redick’s “The Old Man and the Three” podcast earlier this year and fired back.
“He damaged my career,” Beverley said. “Like, coaching staffs and players, fans, they looked at me way different. They looked at me like, ‘You know what? He don’t play defense. He just yells and runs around.’ And held on to that and held on to that. And some people still do.”
When the Lakers played Minnesota — Beverley’s third NBA team in 10 seasons before an offseason trade to Utah — in March, Beverley was at his irritating best, daring Westbrook to shoot, and later swiping a pass before holding his nose and saying to his bench that Westbrook was “trash.”
Westbrook responded to Minnesota’s trash talk postgame nonchalantly.
“The trash talking doesn’t bother me none,” Westbrook said. “Nobody over there has done anything in this league that would make me pick my eyes up, like, ‘Oh, they’re talking mess. Let me respond.’ No. It’s fine.”
If the Lakers enter camp with both players on the team, there will be a lot of people trying to figure that out.