"This is closer to like Michael Jordan and Bill Laimbeer teaming up to play together" - NBA writer skeptical of the Russ-Beverley pairing despite recent camaraderie

Los Angeles Lakers v Minnesota Timberwolves
Los Angeles Lakers v Minnesota Timberwolves

The NBA may have completely overreacted to the LA Lakers’ move to pair Russell Westbrook with Patrick Beverley. Both players seemingly put to rest the issue of how the Lakers are doomed because of their past beef.

“Russ” and his former rival have appeared almost like the best of friends in videos of their interaction. According to Jovan Buha, on The Athletic NBA Show, the friendly vibe between the two isn’t something fans can readily trust:

“This is closer to like Michael Jordan and Bill Laimbeer teaming up to play together. Kobe and Matt Barnes was a fun moment with the ball fake. That was not really a beef. The last time these two guys faced each other, we were in Minnesota, Lakers and Minnesota, I was at that game.
“That was the game that Pat ruthlessly mocked Russ. Russ had an air ball and you had KAT looking up, ‘Is there a drift of wind in here?’ You had Pat running to the Lakers bench holding his nose saying he’s trash.”

Bill Laimbeer was the legendary enforcer of the “Bad Boys” Detroit Pistons who had several run-ins with Michael Jordan in the ‘80s. Several YouTube videos show the punishing blows MJ took to beat Laimbeer and the Pistons. It was very obvious that there was no love lost between the bitter NBA rivals.

In many ways, Patrick Beverley and Russell Westbrook's beef was nastier, with bigger implications compared to the animosity between Jordan and Laimbeer. The former Utah Jazz guard admitted in an interview that Westbrook 'damaged' his NBA career after the latter’s 'trick y’all' comments.


The Athletic’s Jovan Buha was in attendance in the game where 'Pat Bev' finally got his revenge. The Minnesota Timberwolves, who were Beverley’s team at the time, beat up the Lakers. Minnesota players, especially Beverley, relentlessly talked trash to Russell Westbrook during the game.

One of the viral highlights of that NBA game was Patrick Beverley repeatedly calling the former MVP 'trash'. After the game, the then Timberwolves guard poured more fuel into the fire by saying 'Russ' was the 'real magician'.

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Buha cautioned Laker Nation not to keep their hopes too high after only a few days of public interaction between the two former rivals.

Russell Westbrook is going out of his way to make Patrick Beverley comfortable

Russell Westbrook took the bull by the horns by appearing in Patrick Beverley’s first media session with the LA Lakers. He was in the crowd when Beverley answered questions from the media.

The two briefly dapped and hugged before 'Pat Bev' had a conversation with head coach Darvin Ham. Westbrook also got Beverley’s back when the NBA's Mr. Triple-Double tossed a towel to the sweating Beverley. The latter called it 'the first dime of the year' from the incumbent Lakers point guard.

If the volatile relationship between the two has truly been pushed under the rug, the LA Lakers may have something good brewing on their hands. It remains to be seen if they can keep this together under the grind of an 82-game NBA schedule.

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Edited by Sankalp Srivastava
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