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Minnesota Timberwolves point guard Patrick Beverley called out Phoenix Suns star Chris Paul for allegedly faking an injury in embarrassing Game 7 loss.
Narrative shapes legacy in the NBA, and performance is primarily what shapes narratives.
But narratives are also shaped by interpretation, so when Patrick Beverley pounces on Chris Paul after the most devastating loss of his career, it adds to the story that is told about Paul in this pivotal moment: Paul is great, but not in the playoffs.
“Is he going to be a Hall of Famer? No question about it,” Beverley said on ESPN’s Get Up. “Do guys in the NBA go to sleep early the night before playing the Phoenix Suns [i.e. Chris Paul]? Hell no.”
Beverley went in on Paul, saying that he couldn’t guard anyone as he called him a “cone.”
“Give him the Ben Simmons slander,” Beverley said.
Beverley did actually throw some slander Paul’s way, accusing Paul of faking an injury to make an excuse out of the shameful loss. Beverley tweeted about it, and a few minutes later, Paul was out with a left quad injury.
Patrick Beverley calls out Chris Paul for allegedly faking injury during Suns loss
Beverley embraced the fact that he predicted a Suns player would fake an injury, and that Chris Paul would soon exit with an injured quad.
“Stay woke,” Beverley tweeted upon hearing about Paul.
Although Beverley said he isn’t intimidated by Chris Paul and accused Paul of faking an injury, Paul has a history of playing tough through pain — it happened as recently as last season.
When the Suns battled the Los Angeles Lakers in the first round of playoffs last year, Paul had an injured shoulder. Still, the Lakers were fighting to contain him in Game 2 of that series, per Lakers Nation.
“Game 2, went out there. I don’t even know why they was guarding me,” Paul told JJ Reddick on Reddick’s Old Man and the Three podcast. “I could not shoot it, I was faking the funk, though… If you go back and look at it, you will see from game to game, they wasn’t sure because they would like go trap and then they was like ‘should I close out to him? Should I close out to him?’ I could not shoot at all. I couldn’t raise my arm. If I did get my arm up and Donny would push my arm down, I couldn’t resist, it would just drop.”
Beverley may have a reputation for coming at his opponents fiercely, but as far as the narrative on Paul, the 37-year-old has battled through his fair share of games and faked the funk just to survive a series.