After a bland first three games of the players-only NBA 2K tournament, Patrick Beverley and his trash talk showed why it was a good idea in the first place.
If you’re like me, watching other people play video games isn’t the most enjoyable way to spend your time. For a lot of people, the joy of video games is, ya know, actually playing them. So when the league announced its televised, players-only NBA 2K tournament, the two biggest reasons it was so exciting were: 1) We have no NBA basketball, so this was probably the next-best thing, and 2) At least we’d get to see some of our favorite players trash-talk each other from the comfort of their own homes.
The first three games of the NBA 2K tournament were … bland in that respect. You’d think without the formality of having the media there would let these guys’ personalities shine through in a pressure-free environment, but there wasn’t nearly enough smack being talked as the No. 16 seeded Derrick Jones Jr. took down Kevin Durant, the top seed. Deandre Ayton and Zach LaVine shared a thoroughly respectful dialogue, and Harrison Barnes was down too big too early to be talking any trash to a younger, giggling Trae Young.
But in the final game of the night, LA Clippers guard Patrick Beverley validated the whole idea to even have this tournament in the first place. Although he wound up beating Hassan Whiteside by 30 in one of the more lopsided matchups of Day 1, his trash talk — not unlike the way he carries himself in actual games — made it the most entertaining game of the tourney, and it was the dose of NBA we all needed.
Love him or hate him, Pat Bev has a knack for getting under people’s skin. He doesn’t always emerge victorious in his individual battles, but he’s a key starter on a title contender and has always been a perpetual pest who isn’t afraid to run his mouth.
Listening to him impersonate Mike Tyson, yell into the microphone and stand up with excitement after dunking with Giannis Antetokounmpo or diving for a loose ball with Eric Bledsoe was exactly what you’d think Patrick Beverley would sound like playing NBA 2K. Simply put, it was premier sports TV for this quarantine life we’re living right now (via ESPN):
Just look at Whiteside’s goofy grin just trying to hold it together and remain respectful on a nationally televised event! Priceless.
The best part is, a lot of guys talk smack and don’t actually back it up, especially when it comes to video games. But the 31-year-old Beverley did, not only winning by a huge margin, but predicting early on that he would win by 30 and that he would hold Whiteside under 55 points.
The final score? 84-54.
For the sake of the tournament, we hope to see more vibrant personalities like Beverley’s shine through, and at this point, we should all be rooting for him to advance as far as possible.