Patrick Beverley is known for his competitive nature on the court. His defense and trash-talking methods aren’t friendly, and sometimes they lead people to question his intentions.
The same can be said off the court, too. As NBA players stood in their meeting on Wednesday night, that fierceness came out.
Yahoo Sports reported that Michele Roberts, executive director of the players’ union, was explaining the financial ramifications of boycotting the remainder of the season. Beverley interrupted her and after she asked to finish, he responded, “No, I pay your salary.”
Roberts is well-respected among players for her work. Udonis Haslem and union president Chris Paul stepped in and told Beverley that no disrespect would be tolerated, according to Yahoo Sports’ report.
As word got out, many on social media questioned Beverley’s methods, but Clippers teammate Ivica Zubac backed him and denied the report.
Beverley spoke about the alleged incident when asked about it by the media on Thursday.
“We had a very interesting conversation,” Beverley said. “The PA (Players Association) is like a family...You don’t always agree with your family members, and that’s okay. You communicate about it and you try to make it better.
“We made things better yesterday.”
The report isn’t likely to help Beverley’s antagonistic perception, but if you’ve been watching him play the last eight seasons, you know he’s probably not losing any sleep over it.
Former Arizona men’s basketball coach Lute Olson died at 85 on Thursday.
The Hall of Famer won 598 games in 24 seasons at Arizona and led the school to its only NCAA championship in 1997. The Wildcats became a consistent title contender under Olson and had four Final Four appearances.
Olson also coached at Iowa and Cal State Long Beach. His 781 career wins are 14th most all-time among NCAA D-I men’s basketball coaches.
Arizona was an NBA factory under Olson, with his list of former players including Andre Iguodola, Richard Jefferson, Luke Walton, Gilbert Arenas, Jason Terry, Steve Kerr, Mike Bibby, Damon Stoudamire and Sean Elliot.
Several of Olson’s former players posted messages on social media paying tribute.
“It’s hard to put into words how much Lute Olson meant to me,” Kerr wrote on Twitter. “He was an amazing coach & a wonderful man. Being part of the U of A basketball family changed my life forever. I will never forget Coach O, those awesome nights at McKale and all my teammates. Thank you Coach- I love you!”
Olson will be remembered as one of the best basketball coaches of his era, but it’s evident by his former players that his impact went way beyond the basketball court.
Arizona went 4-24 in the 1982-83 season. Despite his success at Iowa, Olson took the Arizona job. The Wildcats went 11-17 in his first season and never finished under .500 in the seasons that followed.
Olson changed the outlook of Arizona basketball with 23 straight NCAA tournament appearances, a big reason why the Wildcats are able to recruit at a high level today.
The NBA’s boycott gave Russell Westbrook time to continue healing. From a basketball standpoint, the hiatus may have benefited the Rockets.
ESPN reported that sources said Westbrook looked ’as explosive as ever’ during a Thursday scrimmage. If that’s the case, Thunder fans know as well as anyone what that means.
A healthy Westbrook would be arriving just in time for Houston. The Thunder won the last two games after falling behind 2-0 in the series.
Westbrook’s return adds another narrative to a series full of them. Not only did Westbrook play his first 11 seasons in OKC, but the last three each ended with first-round exits. At this point, something’s got to give. Either Westbrook’s first-round drought will end, or the Thunder will advance farther than it could with Westbrook as their leader.
Not to mention, Westbrook had a little shouting match with former teammate Steven Adams in Game 4. They’ll probably have a meeting at the rim soon.