Patrick Beverley notoriously shoved Chris Paul from behind in frustration as his Los Angeles Clippers were set to be eliminated by the Phoenix Suns in the 2021 Western Conference Finals.
Tuesday, Beverley knocked over another Suns player in controversial fashion.
With 3:55 to go in the Suns’ 115-105 win over the Los Angeles Lakers at the Footprint Center, Beverley, now a Laker, elbowed Phoenix starting center Deandre Ayton to the floor as he seemed to taunt and stand over Los Angeles guard Austin Reaves, who had just been viciously blocked by Suns guard Devin Booker.
Patrick Beverley shoves Ayton.— Hoop Central (@TheHoopCentral) November 23, 2022
After review, Booker was assessed a Flagrant I foul for hitting Reaves in the face after a shot attempt near the basket. Beverley and Ayton each received technical fouls, and Beverley was ejected for his shove on Ayton.
Booker put it best after the game: “I would have a lot more respect if he just pushed him in the chest when a man is facing him.”
Here are all the quotes from Suns coach Monty Williams, Booker and Ayton about the play after the game.
Williams: “I just think it’s happening too many times. I just think the league needs to take a look at those kinds of plays; they’re just unnecessary. There was obviously some tension but with us, it’s happening too many times and when you push a guy when he’s not looking like that, it’s just not called for. There’s going to be physicality, there’s going to be tension in games, that’s just the nature of basketball. When you have big, strong guys hitting each other the whole game, if you’re standing face-to-face with a guy and you have words or you may tussle a little bit, that’s normal for the NBA, but continuing to do that, it’s just out of control. It’s just happening to us too many times and so yeah, the league, they threw him out of the game, but it’s just getting kind of silly now to the point where you just kind of get your guys out of the way and say, ‘Guys, let’s just go win the game.’ But it is just getting silly, that’s the only the word I can come up with.”
Booker: “You try your best. NBA games, you don’t expect that to go down. So many more opportunities that we see each other than out there on the court. It is an emotional game. I would say things like that happen but not very often. Especially a push in the back. That is what I spoke on in my postgame interview on the court. I would have a lot more respect if he just pushed him in the chest when a man is facing him. It is what it is.”
"At the end of the day, you've got to come back here and say it really wasn't worth it." Deandre Ayton on choosing not to react in a hostile way to Patrick Beverley's shove of him late in #Suns win over #Lakers. pic.twitter.com/z4TFbHYldj— Duane Rankin (@DuaneRankin) November 23, 2022
Ayton (on having an opponent break): “That is what Monty instilled on us. Him being the coach he is, that was the Coach of the Year. Not only being a coach but being that figure that all of us young males need. Eventually, it comes on the court because of the chemistry he has in his players. We play hard for that guy. We go hard for him, play hard for this organization, and play hard for each other. Once we have a great group of guys that are ready to lock in and listen from youngest to oldest it is hard to stop us. That is all we know how to do, is play hard. We are not really playing hard to make you quit, we are just playing hard. We have an agenda. This team, we have been embarrassed the last two years, playing the best basketball we have ever played and never finishing it. So, if you think tonight is where we stop it at, nah. You are not looking at the brighter picture. We are aiming for something way bigger than that. There are going to be a lot more games and we just have to make sure we keep our head and play hard.”
On when he hit the ground: “Keep your composure. This is one of those moments you have seen a hundred times. (Suns starting point guard) [Chris Paul] was in a moment like this. Just keeping your composure and taking the right next step. I got teammates that ran over there for me. I felt like I was good whether I was in the lion’s den, or I was outside the lion’s den. It didn’t matter to me...”
Ayton also conceded, “I was barking back a little bit while playing hard. We do not take our foot off the gas when it comes to playing the right way. Playing defense even though they had their spurts and runs, the ball was stopped off of fouls and and- ones. We never let it deflate us. That is one thing we are good at. Get the ball out and let’s go. Our turn, let’s go back up and get a stop. That is what we are about. Next play mentality. It is the team and the coaches; it is hard to rely on one play. Whether it is a dunk, a buzzer-beater for the end of a quarter, we do not let it deflate us at all. We know how this thing is going to go. We have seen it a thousand times. We got champions on our team that give us a certain strategy. Teams do not like a made basket and you push it down on them like it is a fast break. That is winning basketball. It was fun. Really fun.”
Beverley, who is in his 11th season in the NBA, has a history of contentious plays. TNT’s ‘Inside the NBA’ crew with Ernie Johnson, Shaquille O’Neal, Kenny Smith and Charles Barkley broke down Beverley’s latest act in the clip below.