“I had death threats and was followed by the police all day”

Los Angeles Lakers NBA point guard Patrick Beverley didn't let Russell Westbrook's review pass without comment.

Los Angeles Lakers (DR) / NBA (DR)

For some fans, basketball is more than a sport or a passion, it’s a way of life. The problem is that too much attachment to a franchise or players can lead to abuse. The proof with this star is death threats after consecutive playoffs.

It was one of the big stories of the summer in the NBA microcosm: how Russell Westbrook Patrick Beverley, one of the league’s biggest rivals, was also about to get together. In almost every encounter, the two leaders took pleasure in playing with above-average physical intensity, insulting each other and hanging on.

What is not known, however, is the origin of such animosity between these two players and the infectious intensity they exude. In fact, it all started with the 2013 playoffs and the first round series between the Rockets and Thunder. At the time, Westbrook was an All-Star playing for a title, and Beverley was a young player looking to break into the league. He played with hidden fury, his overcommitment bringing his opponent to his knees.

Patrick Beverley received death threats in 2013!

Almost 10 years later, Pat Bev revisited the incident on his podcast, and he explained how he was received in Oklahoma City for the rest of the series. Obviously, he couldn’t move around the city without a police escort, the fault of many death threats. Injuries are always sad, from there to putting a player’s life in danger…

After Russell Westbrook got hurt, one of the ballboys threatened to kill me. After the game we went back to Houston and Coach McHale told me to be careful, he had heard in the media that Russell Westbrook was hurt in the series. I didn’t even know he was injured because of me and it became big news on all channels.

When he had to go back to Oklahoma City, the police were waiting outside the hotel. They put a police car in front of my house in Houston. For me they put me on a secure floor and an agent was always watching my door. I was going to get my morning coffee and the police were there. They all shared a poster with a guy with a head on it who wanted to kill me.

Russell Westbrook’s injury to Patrick Beverley may have put an end to the title dreams of the Thunder and all fans, prompting strong reactions in Oklahoma. He received several death threats and carried him to the end of the series. He couldn’t even answer on the court as his Rockets were obliterated by a great Kevin Durant.

Fortunately for Patrick Beverley, the young man who wanted Russell Westbrook dead after his injury never found him. Living with a 24-hour police escort must be tough, especially in the middle of the playoffs.

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