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Russell Westbrook and Patrick Beverley's beef includes knee injuries, Jay-Z quotes, and baby cradles

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09:01   |   Dec 13, 2018

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Russell Westbrook and Patrick Beverley's beef includes knee injuries, Jay-Z quotes, and baby cradles
Russell Westbrook and Patrick Beverley's beef includes knee injuries, Jay-Z quotes, and baby cradles thumb Russell Westbrook and Patrick Beverley's beef includes knee injuries, Jay-Z quotes, and baby cradles thumb Russell Westbrook and Patrick Beverley's beef includes knee injuries, Jay-Z quotes, and baby cradles thumb

Transcription

  • - Russell Westbrook versus Patrick Beverley
  • is the rare sports feud that's totally straightforward.
  • Opponents who arrived in the NBA on very different terms,
  • a visible, unambiguous explosion of beef,
  • and flames stoked in broad daylight ever since.
  • In the second quarter of a playoff game on April 24th 2013,
  • Westbrook dribbled toward the bench to call a timeout.
  • As he was doing so, Beverley dove for the ball
  • and hit Russ in the legs.
  • This turned out to be a big deal.
  • It ignited the beef and so much more to follow.
  • But we should first understand who these guys are.
  • Russell Westbrook was a big deal
  • from the moment he entered the league.
  • He played two seasons at UCLA
  • and made the final four in both of them.
  • His sophomore season was his breakout.
  • With Arron Afflalo gone to the NBA,
  • Westbrook became a key starter
  • alongside star freshman Kevin Love
  • and productive upperclassmen Darren Collison,
  • Josh Shipp and Luc Richard Mbah a Moute.
  • After losing to Derrick Rose and Memphis
  • in the 08 NCAA tournament semifinal,
  • Westbrook entered the draft and got picked
  • above any of his teammates,
  • heading to the Seattle Supersonics with the fourth pick.
  • The team moved to Oklahoma City
  • where Westbrook became an all-rookie first teamer
  • next to sophomore Kevin Durant.
  • Within a couple seasons, Russ was a regular all-star,
  • thriving with Durant and sixth man James Harden
  • on an OKC Thunder team that made the 2012 NBA finals.
  • After that team lost to the Heat,
  • OKC lost Harden in a huge trade with the Rockets.
  • But the Thunder only improved,
  • marching to 60 wins behind Westbrook, Durant
  • and an evolving cast of co-stars.
  • And I wanna point out here, that Russ was
  • at this point completely invincible.
  • In five season and multiple runs to the playoffs,
  • Westbrook hadn't missed a single game.
  • He held an unparalleled iron man streak,
  • dating back to his NBA debut.
  • The Thunder were a powerhouse entering the playoffs,
  • a force of nature with a real shot
  • at rematching and perhaps upsetting
  • the reigning champion Heat.
  • First they faced Harden and the eighth-seeded Rockets
  • in the first round.
  • They'd win the series pretty easily,
  • but this moment sunk them in the long run.
  • This was just another day at work for Patrick Beverley,
  • who took a very, very different trajectory to this moment.
  • Beverley comes from Chicago, where he was
  • a high school star battling for recruiting attention
  • in the shadow of, hey, it's Derrick Rose again.
  • This was actually the subject of a 2007
  • sequel to the famous documentary Hoop Dreams.
  • Anyway, while Westbrook and Rose
  • were becoming big-time NBA prospects,
  • Beverley was at Arkansas,
  • co-starring with Sonny Weems for a couple Razorbacks teams
  • that made the NCAA tournament
  • but didn't go nearly as far as those two.
  • Instead of entering the 2008 draft with Westbrook,
  • Beverley decided to stay in college,
  • only to lose his eligibility for what were
  • later revealed to be academic reasons.
  • Too late for the draft but unable
  • to play the college season, Beverley turned pro,
  • singing a contract in Ukraine and even winning
  • a dunk contest while he was there.
  • The Miami Heat acquired Beverley's rights on
  • draft night 2009, and brought him
  • to training camp in 2010.
  • But unfortunate circumstances led
  • to him getting cut before the regular season.
  • So Bev returned to Europe and blossomed,
  • from Ukraine he went to Greece and then on to Russia,
  • where he became Eurocup MVP for Spartak St Petersburg.
  • Finally, in the middle of the 2013 season,
  • the NBA came calling for real.
  • Beverley signed with the Houston Rockets,
  • headed to the D league for a short stint,
  • then debuted in mid-January.
  • From the very outset, Beverley played
  • with the desperation of a man who never again
  • wanted to find himself in a Ukrainian dunk contest.
  • In his second game as a Rocket,
  • Bev was already hounding opponents
  • to the point of irritation.
  • He was a bench player at this point,
  • and in his first game against the Thunder
  • during the regular season,
  • he and Westbrook only shared the floor for a few minutes.
  • But by game two of their first round series in OKC,
  • the Rockets realized what they had
  • and gave Beverley his first career start.
  • So that's how we got here.
  • The unstoppable superstar in game two
  • of what hoped to be another long playoff run,
  • and the scrappy first-time NBA player
  • doing everything he could to stay in the league a long time,
  • even if such relentlessness meant lunging
  • at a dude while he was calling timeout.
  • Westbrook came up hobbling but continued to play,
  • continued to get into it with Beverley,
  • and helped OKC to a game two win.
  • But days later, an MRI revealed
  • a torn meniscus in Westbrook's right knee.
  • His season and his iron man streak were over,
  • and though the Thunder made it out of that series,
  • their title hopes ended at the hands
  • of the underdog Memphis Grizzlies.
  • Westbrook was reportedly irate.
  • Beverley, though, was unapologetic, unmoved.
  • He waved aside online abuse and even death threats.
  • Anyway, it took almost a year
  • for Westbrook and Beverley to meet again,
  • because Russ needed three surgeries
  • to get his injured right knee where it needed to be.
  • The Rockets and Thunder met in March 2014,
  • just weeks after the third surgery,
  • and guess what Beverley did.
  • Russ was not pleased.
  • Injuries have characterized this beef ever since.
  • About half the time Russ and Bev's teams meet,
  • at least one of them is out because of an injury.
  • But whenever they're both healthy, the matchup is awesome.
  • Westbrook has overcome Beverley's defense
  • for some huge games.
  • Beverley has harassed Westbrook into some
  • dreadful shooting and lots of turnovers.
  • This is Beverley's thing, by the way.
  • Russ is certainly not the only star
  • to struggle against Beverley's tenacious defense,
  • nor is he the only star driven nuts
  • by Beverley's tendency to cross the line.
  • In December 2016, the OKC crowd
  • booed Beverley during pregame intros.
  • Beverley defended Westbrook well,
  • forced him into an air ball on a last-second attempt,
  • then trash talked by not trash talking after the game.
  • Westbrook refused to give him credit.
  • The regenerating animosity culminated
  • in another playoff matchup, Rockets versus Thunder in 2017.
  • This time, Westbrook no longer had Durant by his side,
  • he'd gone elsewhere after failing to win a rank in OKC.
  • Houston had the upper hand,
  • and took the series in just five games.
  • Beverley even outplayed Westbrook in game one,
  • though he did get his skeleton rearranged
  • by Russ's teammate Steven Adams.
  • The beef stayed pretty low-key during this series,
  • with only a little verbal flare up
  • in the decisive game five.
  • But the war of words continued
  • after that series-ending game.
  • Beverley trashed Westbrook's shooting performance.
  • - It shocked me, because he say he looked up
  • and said, "No one can guard me, I got 40 points."
  • I'm like, "Damn that's nice."
  • He took 34 shots to get it.
  • - [Narrator] And even dropped a choice Jay-Z quotation.
  • - You know, men lie, women lie, but the numbers don't.
  • - [Narrator] Russ, meanwhile, still refused
  • to acknowledge Beverley's defensive effort.
  • - He was talking about he was first team all defense,
  • but I didn't know what the hell he was talking about,
  • cause I had 42 at the time, the series...
  • You know, I don't know what he talking about.
  • - Once again, a ton of time
  • would pass before a rematch.
  • After getting traded to the Clippers for Chris Paul,
  • Beverley missed most of the 17/18 season,
  • ironically with a meniscus injury
  • in his right knee that required surgery.
  • When the Clippers and Thunder first met in the 18/19 season,
  • Westbrook was out because of inflammation
  • in his still troublesome right knee.
  • (bleep) knees, man.
  • Basically every player I have mentioned in this video
  • has had knee problems at some point.
  • Anyway, Westbrook finally met Beverley on his new team
  • the day before Halloween 2018.
  • That night, Westbrook and Beverley were in fine form.
  • Russ scored on Bev, and celebrated
  • like he was rocking a baby.
  • Bev got a bucket, and did the celebration right back.
  • And sure enough, by the end of the game,
  • Beverley had once more taken a dive into Westbrook's legs,
  • an act that the refs called a flagrant foul.
  • Westbrook was livid, of course.
  • He and Beverley went at each other a bit,
  • and got double technicals,
  • then Russ spent so much time barking at LA's bench
  • that cops felt the need to step onto the court,
  • which is a bit much.
  • Beverley reportedly fired back at OKC fans booing him,
  • insisting the original incident was seven years ago.
  • It was five and a half, but who's counting.
  • After the game, Beverley once again
  • downplayed his rough defensive play.
  • - [Interviewer] Did you feel that was a flagrant one?
  • - I didn't, I feel like I went for a loose ball.
  • I mean, I don't know.
  • - [Narrator] Westbrook, whose team won this matchup,
  • explained his rock-a-bye celebration.
  • - It's what you gotta do with little babies,
  • put them to sleep.
  • You got little kids on you.
  • It's what happens.
  • - It's clear, years after its founding moment,
  • that this feud isn't going anywhere, and why would it?
  • That incident in 2013 broke Russ's
  • career-long iron man streak,
  • aborted OKC's last real shot at a championship,
  • and gave Westbrook a knee issue
  • that may bother him for the rest of his career.
  • Beverley, meanwhile, hasn't changed
  • his approach to the game and probably never will.
  • These guys took very different routes to the NBA,
  • and those backgrounds define so much
  • of their styles and reputations.
  • Fate has had a way of keeping Russell Westbrook
  • and Patrick Beverley apart,
  • but whenever it does bring them together,
  • we're likely to see a flareup of some prime, dry aged beef.

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Description

Russell Westbrook vs. Patrick Beverley is a pretty straightforward beef. Westbrook arrived in the NBA as a touted lottery pick. Beverley was a stashed second-rounder who bounced around Europe before getting his shot. Early in Beverley's NBA career, they collided ... literally. Beverley lunged at Westbrook's legs, and the resulting knee injury ended Westbrook's ironman streak, ended the Thunder's title hopes, and started several years of medium-rare beef on and off the court.

Written and produced by Seth Rosenthal
Edited by Joe Ali and Mike Das

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