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Toward A Unified Theory of Pat Bev
It's Nabeel's Basketball Corner this week—haters just give me a shot, please...
This post is courtesy of beloved subscriber Shiva Kilaru, who, it turns out, is a Pat Bev stan???
Consider the phrase “Pat Bev.” What wonders does it conjure in your mind? A financial term? A cold drink, maybe? Something vaguely Latino? (I don’t know. I needed to get to the “rule of three.”)
Here is Pat Bev, short for Patrick Beverley. Pat Bev is simultaneously one of the worst, most annoying professional basketball players I’ve seen in the modern NBA and someone who regularly finds himself the main character on a random regular season night in the league. He genuinely does not, to my mind, in today’s league, provide any useful skills on the court, and yet is routinely considered a useful asset for teams looking to upgrade their rosters in the “got that dawg in him” department. He’s usually accompanied by adjectives and modifiers like “gritty” or “foxhole” or “tenacious.” These are all words you use when someone can’t shoot the ball but talks hella trash—you know, your Dillons Brookses, your PJ Tuckers, your Tony Allens, what have you.
“But, Nabeel,” you may ask, “don’t you love Draymond Green? A similarly categorized loudmouth who is often described as ‘the heart and soul of the Warriors?’” And to that I say, “Yes, moron, but Draymond also is one of the greatest defenders in the history of the sport, possessing a basketball IQ that Pat Bev could only dream of.”
For quick context: Pat Bev has popularized (if not outright invented?) one of the most obnoxious in-game taunts, the “too small” celebration. He is particularly fond of doing it when his team is down by double digits, or if he’s just hit a shot that was actually more of a prayer.
Why are we talking about Pat Bev this week? He’s back in the news, doing what he does about once a month: igniting a twerpy little spat with a player who is miles better than he is.
The Lakers actually proceeded to come back and win this game, and this gave Pat Bev the final word. Dame Lillard’s signature celebration, in which he taps his proverbial watch after a big, late-game shot to signal that it’s “Dame Time,” was now prime real estate for our man’s incessant bitchiness.
That is admittedly funny. And this maybe provides a more useful lens through which we can examine his particular brand of shittiness. If nothing else, Pat Bev has a sense of the moment. He understands, maybe more than most, that the NBA is an entertainment product, and thus he is filling out the essential duties of his contract.
Here is Pat Bev going on national TV, the day after Chris Paul was humiliated by a stunning exit in the playoffs, to spend seven minutes in a buttoned-up white polo outlining how much Chris Paul sucks. Fucking hilarious. Only an absolute madman would do this. Only a man whose beef with another player superseded all sense of good taste and personal boundaries would wake up bright and early to do this. Only a man who has nothing else to offer, professionally, would cement his worth with pure entertainment value.
Here’s Pat Bev as the star of one of the best NBA memes of the past year. After the Timberwolves (the team he played for last year), barely made the playoffs by winning the recently introduced play-in game, Mr. Bev celebrated like he had just won the World Cup, or had a child.
And here’s Pat Bev as, once again, the star of another Hall of Fame NBA Meme: “Pat Bev trick y’all man.” The origins of this relationship, between him and Russ, have fed beautifully into the fact that they now are on the same team, probably still hate each other, and both cannot shoot the ball to save their (or Lebron’s) lives.
Let’s face it: the guy is an irritant. He’s so fucking annoying. Would you pay this guy $13 million to run around and trick y’all? The Lakers are. Would you ever want to be in a room with someone like this?
So what are we missing? Why is it that Pat Bev continues to grace my television screen? I guess the answer is somewhat obvious: any guy who is worth compiling a list of clips about is at least, notionally, worth taking a flyer on if you’re an NBA team (even if those clips are all extracurricular, and not actually indicative of talent). But perhaps, in each of us, there’s a flicker of recognition: we all know a Pat Bev in our lives. It could be the guy from a high school basketball team with off-the-bench-Gatorade-breath and the handsiest defense you’ve ever seen. It could also just be an annoying, needling little shit at your copywriting job. There’s just always a Pat Bev somewhere. A man with a trenchant ability to seize the narrative through sheer bluster, a man whose facility for performance overshadows any ability to actually perform. You don’t need to be skilled or good at anything, it seems; you just need to be able to talk. Maybe I’m a Pat Bev. Donald Trump is Pat Bev. Holy shit.
As my organizational theory brain has developed, I’ve come to recognize the strange underlying truth of the appeal of people like Pat Bev: everyone else is too cowardly to live life out loud like these guys. Major props man