The Warriors’ dynasty might be dead, but Patrick Beverley still uses its ghost as motivation.
Leave it to one of the true bulldogs of the NBA to reincarnate the Golden State Warriors dynasty — namely the Kevin Durant years — only as a means of achieving his own goals. Patrick Beverley is an eight-year vet in the Association, but he identifies with the old guard, using hard-nosed defensive tactics to get under his opponent’s skin. Against the Warriors, Bev would annoy Steph Curry and Klay Thompson like a gnat, and sometimes even take his turn against Kevin Durant on the perimeter.
While those Houston Rockets and Los Angeles Clippers squads couldn’t overcome the sheer star-power and basketball IQ of one of the game’s greatest and most cohesive units, Beverley knows he left his mark.
Patrick Beverley treats every NBA team like they’re the Golden State Warriors with Kevin Durant.
“I’m treating everybody the same,” Beverley said on the Work From Home podcast. “Every team I play, I’m playing them like we playing the Golden State when they had Kevin Durant. Every point guard I play, I’m playing Steph Curry. Every shooting guard I’m playing, I’m playing James Harden. Every three-man I’m playing, I’m playing LeBron and KD.”
It’s that sort of tenacity that makes the Clippers arguably the toughest out in LA, though LeBron James and the Lakers might have something to say about that. The Clippers boast one of the best defensive lineups in all of basketball, with the ability to switch at any position. Kawhi Leonard and Paul George have landed on the NBA All-Defensive teams nine times between the two of them, with the Klaw winning Defensive Player of the Year twice over. When necessary, this group, paired with Beverley, can turn it on at that end of the court.
Beverley is universally loved by teammates and loathed by the opposition. He’s the ultimate pest and a player built out of the Grizzlies grit-and-grind mold, even though he’s never played for Memphis. Come playoff time, even in a bubble during a pandemic, Bev will come at you, KD or not.