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Chris Paul, for obvious reasons, is subject to a boatload of scrutiny this week. No one’s been harder on the future Hall of Fame point guard than Timberwolves role player Patrick Beverley when he hopped on ESPN with Stephen A. Smith to badmouth CP3 — Beverley would say Paul is known by NBA players as a “cone” on defense that players routinely dribble around.
Current and former NBA players are not taking his criticism lightly. Damian Lillard just fired back on Twitter after someone posted Patrick Beverley’s stat line during his short 2022 playoff run.
“Cuz nobody guarding this man,” Lillard wrote. Very accurate.
Cuz nobody guarding this man . https://t.co/MlnKvLvWrh
— Damian Lillard (@Dame_Lillard) May 16, 2022
Numbers wise, Beverley wasn’t awful as he averaged 11 points, 4.8 assists and 3.2 rebounds in his six games played. Obviously he participated in just six contests because his team was sent packing by the Memphis Grizzlies in the first round. All that said, Patrick Beverley doesn’t have any expectations from fans or his coaching staff. He’s a “role player” that has a job to defend and get out the way of better players like Anthony Edwards and Karl Anthony-Towns on offense. Yet here we are listening to a background singer complaining about the voice of a star singer.
Perhaps Patrick Beverley should let players with the responsibility of Chris Paul criticize the Suns guard because they know what it’s like to fill those shoes? Even former NBA forward Matt Barnes agrees. He addressed this earlier today.
Matt Barnes puts Pat Bev in check. 🍿
— Hoop Central (@TheHoopCentral) May 16, 2022
“Chris Paul didn’t play well…he played terrible in games 3-7…he’d tell you that,” Barnes said on NBA Today. “But what I want to touch on is the disrespect that I heard from Patrick Beverley earlier today. As reporters, we have a job to be critical, but I think there’s a thin line between being critical and disrespecting. I feel like what Pat Beverley did today was completely disrespectful and Beverley is talking like he’s that guy…you’re not that guy. Chris Paul played terrible this series and his numbers are still better than your career numbers have ever been.” Objectively true as Beverley averages 8.8 points and 3.5 assists over his 11-year career.
“Pat Bev and I were similar type role players…they don’t talk about us when we go (retire), so I felt that talk needed to be checked.”
Criticism vs disrespect
The hard part is that today’s athletes, and people in general, are taught that trolling is the only way to get under your superior’s skin. In this case, a far inferior talent in Patrick Beverley is speaking on Chris Paul as if he can hold his jockstrap for a day. He simply cannot. If Beverley plays poorly, not only would players say nothing but us writers wouldn’t utter a peep, either. People paid to cover sports don’t talk about role players unless they either miss a wide open shot in crunch time, say something disrespectful about a star player, or commit a dirty foul — here we are checking off that “disrespect” box.
We have to try and remember Beverley is in the NBA to stir drama and get under the skin of the game’s best players. Only way he feels that gets done is by stepping over the line and pretending Chris Paul stinks at basketball. Kind of embarrassing, if you ask us.