In the absence of LeBron James, other players had to be promoted for the Los Angeles Lakers and alongside Anthony Davis, Austin Reaves was one of the team’s most important players. It was Reaves who found himself on the starting lineup, forming the backcourt with Patrick Beverley, and the sophomore guard has performed well with the starters.
Unfortunately for Reaves, he was in the middle of an incident late in the Lakers’ fight against the Phoenix Suns. Reaves was slapped in the face by Devin Booker, who then joined tall man Deandre Ayton to stand over Reaves while he was prone. That didn’t sit well with Beverley, who ran up to him and shoved Ayton to the ground, sparking an altercation between the two teams that officials had to break up.
Beverley was ejected for his actions, but Reaves was immensely grateful to his teammate and commended Beverley for having his back at the moment Dan Woike of the LA Times:
“If he was, we would have done the same for him,” Austin Reaves said. Says he “loves” Beverley standing behind him.
— Dan Woike (@DanWoikeSports) November 23, 2022
Beverley is the classic example of a player you hate when he’s on the other side but love when he’s on his side. Violence on the pitch is never condoned on the pitch, but Ayton and Booker were out of line in so taunting and taunting Reaves, so Ayton also received a technical foul and Booker’s foul was upgraded to Flagrant 1.
Reaves may be the least menacing-looking player in the NBA, making him an easy target for such things, but with Beverley around, disrespect just won’t stand. The Lakers don’t get pushed around and Beverley, willing to stand up for all teammates, endears him in the locker room.
The Suns and Lakers have had a bit of animosity for a couple of years, and Beverley also has its own history with Phoenix. The move could cost Beverly a game or two, but Reaves and the rest of the Lakers will remember it.
Patrick Beverley Explains Why He Pushed Sun’s DeAndre Ayton
Beverley’s move to shove Ayton might be seen as dirty by some, but it was a necessity for the Lakers guard as Ayton and Booker showed unnecessary disrespect to Reaves.
Beverley explained his reasoning, noting that he’s a “foxhole guy” who will always protect his teammates. When the umpires did nothing to stop Ayton and Booker staring at Reaves while he was down, Beverley took matters into his own hands.
While he added it was an unfortunate situation on national television, Beverley will always come to the rescue of his teammates.
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