They say what goes around comes around. That’s certainly true for former league MVP and Los Angeles Lakers point guard Russell Westbrook. Minnesota Timberwolves guard Patrick Beverley, a known Westbrook antagonizer, tweeted that he remembered when Westbrook said “all I do is run around and trick y’all” regarding Beverley’s defense, and that Westbrook is “the real magician.” That of course being a reference to Westbrook’s poor play this season and his “disappearance” from the group of elite NBA players.
I remember when somebody said all I do is run around and I trick y’all 😂 well my boy is The Real Magician this year.
— Patrick Beverley (@patbev21) February 10, 2022
NBA players are so petty it’s hilarious.
Beverly is certainly having fun at Westbrook’s expense, but there is a lot of history in this back-and-forth.
The beef between these two goes back to the 2013 NBA playoffs when Westbrook was with the Oklahoma City Thunder and Beverley was with the Houston Rockets.
Beverley collided with Westbrook after the Thunder called a timeout in Game 2 of their first-round series. Westbrook was diagnosed with a torn meniscus in his right knee that required multiple surgeries. It was a borderline dirty play.
Westbrook’s extremely low tolerance for Beverley is warranted.
They’ve had many battles in the years since including in the 2019-20 season when Westbrook, then a member of the Rockets, dropped his “trick y’all” remarks.
Beverley is having his fun now as his Timberwolves are a better team than the Lakers and Westbrook has been benched in fourth quarters of recent games due to his ineffective play.
In terms of impact on the floor this is Westbrook’s worst season as a pro. He’s -1.5 in EPM, that’s in the 49th percentile in the entire NBA. Never known as an efficient scorer, he’s having his third-worst season in terms of efficiency. His eFG% and TS% are 47 and 50 respectively.
The Lakers tried to trade him before Thursday’s deadline but were unable to find a team with players they desired willing to take on Westbrook and his contract. He has a player option that he can exercise, which he will absolutely do, for $47 million at the end of the season.
Even if it’s only a year, who wants a declining 33-year-old point guard that makes that kind of money? The Lakers are stuck with him.
These two will likely continue their beef until the day they retire from the league. Such is the life of NBA ballers.
The next installment of their rivalry will take place on March 16 when the Lakers visit Minnesota. That game will be important for both teams as they head toward the playoffs.
Right now the Timberwolves are in the seventh spot, just a game and a half behind the Denver Nuggets for sixth. The top six in each conference guarantees a playoff berth, while the next four spots compete in the play-in-tournament. FiveThirtyEight projects the Timberwolves finish with a 45-37 record and a 91 percent chance of making the playoffs.
The Lakers are 26-30 and in ninth place, five games out of the top six. The play-in range is where they seem to be hovering. FiveThirtyEight projects the Lakers finish with a 37-45 record and a 27 percent chance of making the playoffs.
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