Lakers committed to Patrick Beverley-Russell Westbrook combo

They were the biggest questions when the Lakers took over Patrick Beverley – will Russell Westbrook still be a Laker? If so, can he coexist with his nemesis Beverley?

When Beverley was formally introduced as a member of the Lakers in a press conference on Tuesday, Westbrook was the only player on the current roster in the room. And as Beverley, fresh from a training session on the pitch, sweat continued to trickle down his face, it was Westbrook who threw him a towel.

“The first cent of the year,” joked Beverley.

With three weeks to go before training camp, Beverley, Westbrook and trainer Darvin Ham all seemed determined to make things work – Ham said he wasn’t afraid to use a starting spot from Beverley and Westbrook if the two were ‘defending’.

“What I can add is a willingness to be prepared every day,” Beverley said. “I am a very detailed man. Preparation is really big for me.”

When asked specifically about the game with Westbrook, Beverley said, “Having another ball handler with me works. … I’ve never had an explosive guard like Russ that I could play defensively and offensively with.”

Ham said he considers the two great because of their intensity, which Beverley has brought throughout his career.

“His goal really wasn’t praise,” Ham said of Beverley. “It was his influence on winning basketball. And time and time again, whether Houston, the Clippers, Minnesota, he’s made his presence felt in a big, big way. And we look forward to him continuing to do so.

“I think he will be a nice addition to our ball club and a great tone-setter. You heard the grit Grind mention about just being a dog out there. … I can’t wait to coach him. … I want to help him get that championship ring.”

Beverley, 34, played 58 games for the Minnesota Timberwolves last season after four years as an emotional leader for the Clippers. He averaged 9.2 points, 4.6 assists and 4.1 rebounds for the Timberwolves, though his three-point shooting fell to 34.3% — the lowest of his 10-year NBA career.

Beverley, who is considered one of the NBA’s biggest annoyances due to his defensive intensity and attitude, joins a backcourt currently made up of Westbrook, Kendrick Nunn, Lonnie Walker IV and Austin Reaves.

Beverley has had some durability issues and has only surpassed 60 games once in the last five seasons. He was traded to Utah from Minnesota as part of Rudy Gobert’s blockbuster deal earlier this summer and was set to land with another team.

Beverley was originally selected with the Lakers’ second-round pick in 2009, although they traded the pick for a future second-round pick and cash on draft night.

https://www.latimes.com/sports/lakers/story/2022-09-06/lakers-patrick-beverley-russell-westbrook-put-aside-past-beef Lakers committed to Patrick Beverley-Russell Westbrook combo

Emma Bowman

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