We’ve got a real nice feud brewing.
Patrick Beverley and Damian Lillard are both tough point guards on contending Western Conference teams. They both overcame long odds to reach the NBA and play with justified pride now that they’re here. And both are unafraid to speak their mind.
Lillard lobbed the opening salvo after Houston’s win over Portland on Sunday, basically calling Beverley a dirty player.
Appearing on Houston radio SportsTalk 790 today, Beverly went through eight and a half minutes of interview until this happened:
- Host: “Hey, Pat, thank you for the time. We’ll talk with you next week.”
- Beverley: “Are you going to ask me no questions me about Damian Lillard?”
That’s when it got good.
Damian Lillard whines. So, I’m not a big fan of that. I don’t go out there and try to start fights with anybody. I go out there and play my game.
Beverley also referenced Stephen Curry saying, “He makes me better. I love that challenge.”
Beverley on Lillard again:
The way I guard him, the way I guard Steph Curry, the way I guard Chris Paul, the way I guard Goran Dragic, the way I guard Kyrie Irving – I all guard the same players the same. I don’t look at film on players. I don’t look at players’ habits. I go out there and impose my will on people, and I do what I do, and I’m aggressive on defense.
I don’t think Lillard cares how Beverley guards other players. I think Lillard cares how Beverley guards Lillard.
Beverley gets physical. He’s a nuisance. He makes opponents work really hard physically and mentally.
I see why Lillard doesn’t like that, but I also believe Curry’s approach is better for a player facing Beverley. Beverly wants his man to succumb, and Lillard is only encouraging Beverley to increase the pressure.
Because Beverley went so far out of his way to discuss Lillard, I’ll leave him the last word with the rest of his comments:
I don’t care what he says. You’re a grown man. You’re a professional basketball player – professional first.
You always push and shove, and that’s basketball. I don’t know how other people were raised, but that’s basketball. That’s how you grew up playing, battling. You get pushed down. You get back up. You battle the next guy. You should enjoy the competition. No one is going out there to hurt someone, and I was kind of offended the way that he was talking. I’m a positive person. I usually don’t say anything about anything, but if I feel that something is not right, I’m definitely going to mention about it. And the things that he was saying yesterday really bothered me.