OKC has a new enemy and his name is Patrick Beverley. No one knew who he was until Westbrook went down for the season.
Wednesday night was a night many OKC fans wish never happened, Russell Westbrook went down with a lateral meniscus tear in his right knee. He underwent surgery Saturday and will begin rehab immediately. A timetable for his return will be determined during the offseason. Westbrook will miss the rest of the playoffs.
Beverley who was defending Westbrook during the play has been blamed for the unfortunate accident by many OKC fans. Per Ultimate Rockets, Fans have been sending threats to Beverley via twitter:
Even though fans have Beverley on their hate list, players of OKC has come to his defense. Kevin Durant and coach Scott Brooks have both vouched that Beverley’s play was clean and that Westbrook pulled the SAME play on Lin in the SAME game.
“It’s just an unfortunate play,” Durant said. “I hope he’s not hanging his head off of it. It’s just one of those freak accidents.”
“That was not a dirty play,” Brooks said. “It’s part of basketball. One of the thing the kid does, he plays hard. Now, was it unfortunate and was he trying to get under his skin? Absolutely. But it wasn’t a dirty play. You want to play physical. You want to play hard. That’s what I like. That’s how you have to play.”
During the age of technology, you have to have thick skin and be able to isolate malicious people from your mind. Apparently, Beverley has that under control and his only focus is tonights game.
“I knew my … intent,” Beverley said. “My intent was no one to get hurt. It’s an unfortunate situation. My focus is on the basketball game tonight.”
“It feels like I’m back in Russia a little bit,” Beverley said. “I don’t know if I’m on TV for the good reasons now. I can’t control that. I can only control my basketball game and that’s being aggressive, going for steals, going for blocks, going for offensive rebounds. My focus now is the Oklahoma City Thunder.
“From being overseas and coming over here, no one knows who I am. It’s like a relaxing period. In Russia, every time I step out for dinner I was treated like James Harden over there. I come over here being a guy a lot of people don’t know. Now, I’m on TNT for the wrong reasons. I can’t control what happened. It was an unfortunate situation. Last game, someone else did the same thing. I have to move on from the situation and focus on the game.”
Beverley wasn’t hoping to gain NBA star status by taking out one of the NBA’s rising stars, but he’s definitely known now whether he likes it or not. Fans will eventually get over their ill will towards him, it was a accident. I don’t think there was any Jalen Rose/Kobe Bryant connection in any of this, just two players wanting to win and playing hard on every possession.