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Patrick Beverley says there was no intent to injure Russell Westbrook

Apr 26, 2013, 3:25 PM EDT

Houston Rockets v Oklahoma City Thunder - Game Two Getty Images

When the news broke that Russell Westbrook would be out indefinitely after needing to undergo surgery to repair a torn lateral meniscus he suffered in the Thunder’s Game 3 win over the Rockets, all eyes turned to Patrick Beverley, and the play where Westbrook was injured.

Beverley ended up knocking knees with Westbrook, on a play where the Rockets guard was trying to steal the ball just before the Thunder were set to call a timeout.

Fans in Oklahoma City (and at the time, even Westbrook himself) seemed angry at Beverley for making this play, one that is routine in the NBA and happens on a nightly basis.

Speaking to reporters after shootaround on Friday, Beverley made it clear that he had no intention of trying to injure Westbrook.

“Unfortunate situation, of course,” he said. “You hate to see the type of player like that go out with an injury like that. But the Thunder are still a good team, and we have to prepare for a good team right now.”

Beverley was asked where he made contact with Westbrook, but said he hasn’t seen a replay of the incident.

“I don’t even remember,” he said. “I haven’t really seen it yet. I really don’t watch ESPN like that, so I haven’t see it yet. But like I said, it’s definitely unfortunate. I was definitely looking forward to playing Westbrook again and battling again. It’s just an unfortunate situation.”

As for whether or not trying to make that play as the opposing team is heading into a timeout is a questionable tactic, Beverley pointed out that it’s relatively common around the league, before making it known that he wasn’t trying to hurt anyone with his aggressive actions.

“A lot of people do it throughout the league,” he said. “Anyone who knows me, I don’t go out there and try to hurt anybody. I play at one speed, that’s fast. I crash for offensive rebounds. I was just trying to make a play on the ball before they called timeout, and a play like that I’ll continue to say, it’s just unfortunate right now.”

Finally, Beverley was asked if he believed the play he made was a basketball one, and whether or not there was anything dirty about it.

“No, I don’t think so,” he said. “I think I tried to make a play on the basketball before he called a timeout. No intention at all to try to injure anybody. Like I said, anyone who knows me knows that’s not my type of game.”

  1. timb12 - Apr 26, 2013 at 3:36 PM

    I’m looking forward to the Lin vs Fisher matchup.

    • kavika6 - Apr 27, 2013 at 1:56 AM

      Boring.

  2. wsuperman4445 - Apr 26, 2013 at 3:38 PM

    well now fans you might want to take a long hard look at the Spurs and a match up with the Heat… then in aisle 3 we have coats, shirts, and shoes…

    • andrewproughcfe - Apr 26, 2013 at 7:24 PM

      Yeah – who would want to watch 5 or 6 future Hall of Famers going at it toe to toe for 7 games?

      In fact, Spurs-Heat would put the most all-time talent on the floor since the days of the Bird-Magic Lakers-Celtics finals. If the NBA PR machine can’t figure out how to sell a Manu-Parker-Duncan-Wade-Bosh-Lebron finals matchup, they need to quit and go flip burgers.

      • bigmeechy74 - Apr 27, 2013 at 1:23 AM

        Sorry. You can sell it all you want but the Spurs are simply not fun to watch. I know they are great, but unless you are a Spurs fan I don’t know one person that wasn’t bored to tears during the years they won it all. Just because they are good doesn’t mean they are entertaining. The thunder at full strength are soooooo much more interesting….

  3. rohlo - Apr 26, 2013 at 3:46 PM

    beverly is right..he didnt do it intentionally as bumping knees he could have very well been the one injuring himself instead of westbrook.westbrook didnt call timeout till he was actually in mid stride goign for the steal.just like football you play till you hear the whistle!!!! its not liek he could stop in mid stride, it sucks for the thunder that it happened but they better not make beverly out to be a villian..because he is not! russell needed to stop acting liek it was intentional.its not like he went out there and clotheshanged him.. if anything westbrook shouldnt have been hotdogging like a harlem globetrotter dribbling the ball and just bring it up the court and call a timeout like most basketabll players do. if you knew u were gonna call a timeout why make an offensive basketball move,because the defender has to play the ball till like i said he hears the whistle!!!

    • padraighansen - Apr 26, 2013 at 3:59 PM

      Except, of course, that the contact occurred AFTER the whistle…and he was going across RW’s body to knock the ball…out of bounds? Dude, wake up – that was unintentional, yes (in terms of hurting RW), but also both unnecessary and overly aggressive at that point.

      • iknowzeroaboutsports - Apr 26, 2013 at 4:44 PM

        Dude, it’s the playoffs.

      • padraighansen - Apr 26, 2013 at 5:45 PM

        That’s such a ridiculous comment. Because it’s the playoffs, it’s OK to make stupid, unnecessary plays? There is a big difference between playing hard and playing reckless. That was reckless. Completely inexcusable – especially to knock the ball out of bounds, at best, after the whistle for the timeout. Stupid, stupid comment.

      • tjstyles - Apr 26, 2013 at 6:45 PM

        He was making a play on the ball before the whistle. He cut in front of Westbrook and Westbrook responded by putting his knee in front of him to block his path. Beverly didn’t purposely slam into Westbrook’s knee to cause an injury.

        If Westbrook didn’t want Beverly to try and make a play on the ball, he should have taken better care of the ball instead of leaving it wide open while he casually crossed the court with the game clock rolling.

        Other teams bring the ball up like that looking like they are going to call a timeout, then when the defense relaxes they cut to the rim. Play hard until the whistle and you won’t have to worry about getting hurt like that.

        Oh, and the ball only went out of bounds because Westbrook threw his knee in front of Beverly to protect the ball. If he hadn’t, it would have been a clean steal and layup at the other end of the court.

        It is sad to see a player go down like that. I am a Timberwolves fan, so I can relate. But, I didn’t go calling Kobe dirty when he cracked knees with Rubio and blew out his ACL. This stuff happens. In this case, it happened because Westbrook let his guard down. Could it have been avoided? Easily. It could have been avoided by Westbrook playing like it was a live ball while it was a live ball.

      • padraighansen - Apr 26, 2013 at 9:15 PM

        Never, ever did I say it was done on purpose. Never. I said it was reckless and unnecessary. Huge difference. And Westbrook saw the :20 being called. Beverley was being reckless – to what – knock the ball out of bounds (off of him) before a timeout was being called. Watch the play. The kid was very clearly in the wrong – but it was NOT intentional.

      • kavika6 - Apr 27, 2013 at 2:03 AM

        Every possession in a playoff game is important, especially when you’re getting close to elimination. Besides, nobody in the NBA plays as wrecklessly as Westbrook.

    • mdub11 - Apr 26, 2013 at 6:16 PM

      CP3 does it all the time. Anyone that’s hating on Beverly and thinks it was dirty is obviously a Thunder fan. Can’t really blame them for being upset but let’s be real, if it’s Westbrook going for the steal and he hurts Beverly, even Rockets fans wouldn’t be upset or think it’s “dirty”

    • joeksnuffy - Apr 26, 2013 at 7:58 PM

      In my 40 years of watching NBA, I have never seen anyone pull off a steal on a player trying to call timeout. So, for Beverly to go after the steal that aggressively is just a cheap shot. I’m sure he didn’t intend to hurt Westbrook. But, he certainly wasn’t concerned about any collateral damage. Yes, Beverly was risking getting hurt, too. But, who’s more critical to his team: Beverly or Westbrook?

  4. 8to80texansblog - Apr 26, 2013 at 3:55 PM

    Coaches call that “Hustle”….

    It’s unfortunate that it ended up injuring Westbrook and I still think the Thunder beat my Rockets but I would be surprised if they make it out of the next round…

  5. halfbaht - Apr 26, 2013 at 5:25 PM

    Cry baby Westbrook strikes again. He would’ve done the same damn thing. Nothing wrong with the play. I use to like Westbrook, but I’ve lost a hell of a lot of respect for him after this season. Man up Russell! Stop being such a sook

  6. saint1997 - Apr 26, 2013 at 6:33 PM

    You telling me Westbrook has never done the same thing?

  7. joeksnuffy - Apr 26, 2013 at 7:50 PM

    What a dick move by Beverly. A rookie in over his head trying to over-compensate by roughing up a star. And on a play where Westbrook was obviously just trying to call timeout. Douche. You hate to see an injury to a key player from some punk trying to show he can hang with the big dogs.

    May as well hand the trophy to Miami right now.

  8. funktron2x - Apr 27, 2013 at 8:38 PM

    This is absurd. There was no intent to injure there. You are an emotional fool if you are tooting that horn o’ stupid.

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