Patrick Beverley's antics have not been at the forefront of the NBA season as they have been in the past because he now plays in Minnesota for the Timberwolves, a team that does not get quite as much coverage as Beverley's former team, the Los Angeles Clippers. Beverley was traded there this offseason as part of a salary dump that originally sent him to Memphis before he ended up in the Twin Cities. He has been having the type of season we've come to expect, averaging 7.6 points per game while irritating all of his opponents as a defender.
The Wolves played the Clippers this past Saturday and lost. Badly. Los Angeles outscored Minnesota by 21 in the second quarter en route to a 129-102 victory in a game that was never close. Beverley was asked after the game about his time with the Clippers and gave the most insane quote of his career to reporters: he claimed he and those Clippers teams helped turn L.A. into a Clippers city from a Lakers city.
I mean... that just isn't true. Los Angeles has never been and will never be a Clippers city. The Lakers have far too much history and success to ever be uprooted on their home turf like Beverley is suggesting. It's hard for the Clippers to become the most popular team in Los Angeles when their cross-town rivals are the most popular team in the country to root for and the most famous basketball team in the world.
Now, one can see why Beverley would think that. He played for the Clippers from 2017-2020. The Lakers did not make the playoffs in two of those four seasons, and Beverley was a part of the underdog, pre-Kawhi/PG Clippers that everybody enjoyed rooting for in 2017. He came to the city in the midst of the Lakers' worst stretch of basketball since before they drafted Magic Johnson. For a brief period of time, it was more fun to talk about what the Clippers were up to than analyzing the growth of Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, and Julius Randle.
But as soon as LeBron James arrived, the Clippers were effectively forgotten. That would have been true even if the Lakers didn't win a championship in 2020. Fans still use Clippers games as the easiest and cheapest way to see their favorite visiting teams. On Sunday they hosted the Chicago Bulls, and the fan discrepancy was so obvious people were wondering aloud if Staples Center was the Clippers' home arena or the Bulls'.
Los Angeles has been and always will be a Lakers town. No matter what Beverley chooses to believe.