Clippers power forward Patrick Patterson was supposed to have been in Detroit on Friday night. His team was scheduled to face the Pistons in its last multi-game road trip of the season. Instead, he found himself on his couch, hosting a virtual movie night.
Patterson, who is currently working toward opening a production company and becoming a film producer, has hosted movie screenings for fans since he was with the Toronto Raptors (2013-17). He took the tradition with him when he played for the Oklahoma City Thunder (2017-19) and now plans to make it a weekly Friday night tradition as a Clipper with the NBA season suspended and much of the country ordered to stay at home during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It started as a way just to interact with fans off the court and away from basketball, and it carried with me wherever I went,” Patterson said. “Now during this lockdown situation, I’m just trying to continue to engage with fans and watch some movies.”
Patterson’s “Pat Presents” movie screenings had been held in a theater he rented with a seating capacity, forcing him to pick winners through a contest. His virtual Friday night screenings are hosted on the Netflix Party extension, which allows Patterson to invite anyone he wants. He's able play, pause and rewind the movie and chat with fans before, during and after the film.
He screened “Good Time,” a 2017 crime thriller starring Robert Pattinson, on Friday and engaged with about 40 fans who joined him from Toronto, Vancouver, Oklahoma City and Los Angeles.
“I'm picking movies I haven’t seen and I thought most people have not seen, so we can watch it together for the first time and talk about it,” Patterson said. “People are more familiar with recent films, so I’m trying to throw out a variety.”
Patterson grew up in Huntington, W.V., and would go to the movie theater at least once a week with his parents. Then he'd watch another film at home every Sunday night. His collection of VHS tapes has been replaced by subscriptions to Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, HBO Now, YouTube TV and Disney+. If there’s a streaming service with movies and shows, Patterson likely has an account.
“I’m watching everything,” Patterson said. “You name it, I got it at home. With all the movie theaters closed and the new releases pushed back, I’m catching up on movies and shows with my wife at home. We’re flying through TV shows and movies right now.”
As much as Patterson loves watching films, he was planning on catching up on everything he wanted to see this summer, not in the midst of what was supposed to be the stretch run of the NBA season. Heading into the third week of NBA games being postponed indefinitely, he’s simply trying to stay in shape in between his binge-watching schedule.
“It’s tough,” Patterson said. “I’m going on the occasional run to random places in L.A. near where I live. I’m trying to find some hills that I can run up and down to keep my conditioning up. Our training staff sent us a bunch of gear, so I have dumb bells, ladders and boxes. I have everything I need set up in our garage. I work out down there every other day and go on runs and jogs every other day. I’m just trying to keep my body in the best shape it can be for whenever we start up again.”
No one knows when or if the NBA season will resume, but Patterson would like to see what the Clippers can do in the postseason with a rested and healthy Kawhi Leonard and Paul George after the team managed both players' workloads with an eye toward the playoffs.
“I’m hopeful we’ll start the season again,” Patterson said. “We’re all just waiting on the NBA to release a statement and let us know what’s happening. Obviously the most important thing is to make sure everyone is safe during this COVID-19 pandemic, but we’re hopeful that the season will restart this year at some point whether that’s in the summer or later. We just want to finish the season.”
Patterson agreed to a buyout with Oklahoma City last August and agreed to a one-year deal with the Clippers. It was a move inspired as much by what he could do off the court as it was by his on-court skills.
“It was a perfect opportunity to put myself in a position to do what I want to do outside of basketball when my career is over,” Patterson said. “Now is the perfect time for me to be out here in L.A. I’ve met with a few people in the industry and have had meetings and lunches and exchanged e-mails. I want to do this when I’m done playing. Basketball is the most important thing, but while I’m out here I want to take advantage of this opportunity of being here in L.A. where a lot of filmmakers and creative people live.”
While Patterson waits on the fate of the NBA season, he plans to watch plenty of movies and shows while working on his first foray into entertainment.
“In the perfect world, I’d love to work on a project and get it out there while I’m still in the NBA,” Patterson said. “That would be amazing. Right now, I’m working on creating a production company, and we have a few scripts that we’ve been reading and just brainstorming ideas. It’s difficult to do that during the season, but we have some time now, so we’ll see what happens. But I’d love to get something out there while I’m still in the league.”
Pat's Top Movies
2. Forgetting Sarah Marshall
4. It Follows
Pat's Top TV shows
2. Altered Carbon
3. The Outsider
5. Peaky Blinders