The Clippers and Lakers kicked off their seasons night and just one game into life for the new-look Clippers and new-look Lakers, there’s an even better rivalry than Clippers-Lakers. And that rivalry is Patrick Beverley v. Lonzo Ball. Truthfully, that’s part of one long-time rivalry, Patrick Beverley v. The World and possibly part of another rivalry that’s emerging, the world v. Lonzo Ball.
Last night, Lonzo made his NBA debut and it was one long, “Welcome to the NBA” moment. 3 points, 9 rebounds, 4 assists, and Pat Beverley camped out in head all night. And so of course, people were fighting to get out there “BUST” takes on Lonzo. Slow your roll, fools.
Despite the hype, there was no way he was stepping on the court and being the second-coming of Magic in his first game. That stat line isn’t what you’d like, but it was one game and it was one game against one of the most aggressive and motivated defenders in the league. Lonzo’s a rookie. He’s going to play like a rookie at times, if not all the time, for some time. And especially last night when he was facing a man possessed.
Beverley is a man on a mission every time he steps on the court, but he found another gear last night. Why? Well, I’ll let Pat explain.
“I just had to set the tone, man. I told him after the game man, (that) due to all the riff-raff his dad brings, he’s going to get a lot of people coming at him. He has to be ready for that, and I let him know after the game. What a better way to start off, just 94 feet guarding him tonight, welcome …”
For a moment, he was interrupted by a reporter, but Beverley had more to say. “I’m not done. Welcome his little, young ass to the NBA.”
Oh, and that wasn’t his only quote of the night. Before walking into the Clippers locker room, he shouted “Weak ass motherbleeper. Bring him out on the court with me and I will tear his bleep up.” He didn’t exactly say who he was talking about, but I’m guessing there’s a decent chance it was Ball.
And he wasn’t the only person with a take on the impact that the riff-raff his dad brings, according to Alex Kennedy, Snoop weighed in, saying, “I think his daddy put him in the lions’ den with some pork chop drawers on.”
I get it. That’s going to happen. Every high-profile rookie has a target on his back coming into the league. And because of the way LaVar bumps his gums, sells his shoes, tries to sell interviews, and hypes himself and the whole family, Lonzo is going to have a target the size of LA on his back. But that’s not new and Lonzo has dealt with that in the past. And if you think LaVar is going to back off and be quiet, you’re wrong. He couldn’t wait to jump in and fire back at Pat, but I’m not really interested in getting into that.
And while few in the league will come at Lonzo with the tenacity and relentlessness of Pat Bev, he’s the first, but he won’t be the last guy who’s looking to send a message to Lonzo and LaVar. You can put money on that, just as you can put money on the fact that LaVar probably isn’t going to stop talking.
And Lonzo knows it. He told The Veritical: “I’ll be ready. I have to show it in my game, because when we win, people won’t talk. But if we lose, people will think it affects me. It’s wins and losses for me. We know it’s a process.”
That’s the thing. It’s a process and that was one game. It says here the kid will be all right. And it also says here that I can’t wait for November 27th and Beverley v. Lonzo II. That will be worth every penny and every quote. I’m not a paying a penny to talk to the kid, like his old man wants, but I will pay to see whether or not Pat Beverely will tear his bleep up again.