Patrick Beverley defends Russell Westbrook stepping up to fan during Clippers-Nuggets game

Michael Kaskey-Blomain
4 Min Read

Patrick Beverley has Russell Westbrook’s back when it comes to standing up to hecklers.

Westbrook has been involved in several verbal altercations with fans sitting courtside over the course of his career, including a relatively tense exchange with a fan in Los Angeles earlier this week, and Beverley doesn’t blame his former Los Angeles Lakers teammate.

During a recent episode of the “Pat Bev Pod,” Beverley showed support for the Los Angeles Clippers guard and blamed the overconsumption of alcohol as a driving issue when it comes to fans feeling emboldened to say whatever they want to players out on the floor.

“You can see me in game, call me a–hole,” Beverley said. “Call me trash. But when you see me at store, it’s not that energy. That’s the problem. And then you mix that other problem with courtside and a ton of drinking and a ton of booze and a ton of beers. With game, I think that’s the problem.”

Beverley doesn’t think that fans should have to sit on their hands and be silent while at a game, but he does think that arenas should enforce an alcohol limit in order to curb aggressive or obnoxious behavior.

“It should be an alcohol limit,” Beverley said. “Motherf—— is hammered fourth quarter, overtime of a good game. That ‘boo’ turns into ‘f— you!’ That’s what it turns into. I know we don’t like to speak about it, but that’s exactly what it turns into.”

It’s somewhat difficult to imagine arenas voluntarily limiting alcohol sales given how much revenue booze generates, but Beverley is likely right in his assertion that its consumption can provide fans with added confidence to say things to players that they probably wouldn’t otherwise say.

At the end of the day, it’s up to individuals to control themselves. If drinking is going to cause an individual to heckle players in an inappropriate manner, then that individual simply shouldn’t drink while out at a game. It’s not a very difficult concept.

Meanwhile, players reserve the right to respond in a non-physical manner if a particular comment crosses the line, just as Westbrook has done repeatedly. After the latest incident, which occurred near the end of L.A.’s 113-104 home loss to the Denver Nuggets on Monday night, Westbrook explained his perspective.

“It’s just unfortunate fans think they can get away with saying anything and, personally, I won’t allow it,” Westbrook said. “I’ve [taken] a lot of people saying anything and getting away with it, but I won’t stand for it.”

After being adversaries throughout their careers, Beverley and Westbrook became teammates on the Los Angeles Lakers last season. Both were ultimately traded away from the Lakers, but they developed a bond during their time together in L.A. Now, both players have a key reserve role on a contending team — Beverley on the Philadelphia 76ers and Westbrook on the Clippers.

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Michael is an experienced writer, editor and reporter. He has covered the NBA and NFL for over a decade for a variety of outlets including CBS Sports, 247 Sports and