Throughout the history of the NBA, there have been a handful of truly great role players who impact their teams in a far greater way than any stat line could ever reveal.
Look you can’t have a superhero movie without a Thanos, enter the Los Angeles Clippers defensive villain, Patrick Beverley who is best described as a tenacious, hard-working, get in your mind defensive specialist, extremely short Thanos, who takes pride in disrupting offenses the same way Steph Curry thrives when he shoots 3-pointers from undisclosed zip codes.
Beverley is often described as a “defensive nat.” He clearly takes pride in playing defense which is the opposite of most players in today’s modern game who have moved so far away from being physical that NBA big-men like 7 footer Joel Embiid are retreating to the 3-point line.
Being a villain is a role that Beverley clearly embraces. Take what he said earlier in the season after a game against LeBron James “no challenge” and “not hard at all” when trying to force a switch.
Recently on The JJ Redick Podcast, Beverley discussed how his perceived role as the NBA’s villain helps him succeed as a player.
“I try to make myself a weapon: Mind, body, soul. And I understand I won’t be as fresh every game. I won’t feel as good as every game but my will- and this has always been my mindset since I played basketball – my will. Are you willing to go as far as I’m willing to go?“
“I’m gonna do what it takes to try to get this dub. Straight up.”
Inside Beverley’s Bubble
Beverley’s teammate Reggie Jackson spoke about his importance to the team and told a funny story from the team first night in quarantine inside the NBA bubble.
At 2 AM during the quarantine Beverley was shouting ‘Yoooo!’ from his room in the NBA bubble just to check on all his teammates and helped cheer them up on the first day of quarantine.
The MIGHTY Line
Often described as a throwback player, Beverley has turned his villain role in the NBA into must-see TV. Sure everyone wants to see 3-pointers rain and spectacular dunks, but there is something so refreshing when you watch a player actually play defense and clearly try to get inside the mind of an opponent. Simply put, Beverley is one of the most entertaining players to watch in basketball.
“I’m treating everybody the same. Every team I play, I’m playing it like we are playing Golden State when they had Kevin Durant,” he recently told Dragonfly Jonez of Whistle. “Every point guard I play, I’m playing Steph Curry.”
As for the Clippers’ chances of winning a championship in the bubble, they are significantly higher with Beverley’s villain style mentality on the court. Beverley who is famous for guarding players who are 6 to 8 inches taller could be the x-factor the Clippers need to leave the bubble with a ring.