'He's too small': Patrick Beverley on his antics with LeBron James

Chicago Bulls guard Patrick Beverley (21) readies to pass during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Los Angeles Lakers Sunday, March 26, 2023, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Bulls guard Patrick Beverley, a former Laker, finished with 10 points and five assists in the win over the Lakers on Sunday at Arena. (Marcio Jose Sanchez / Associated Press)

Patrick Beverley scored with a baby hook over LeBron James late in the fourth quarter Sunday and then crouched and lowered his hand, the universal sign that “he’s too small” for NBA players.

Keep in mind that Beverley, a former Laker, is 6-foot-2 and James is 6-9.

That didn’t matter to Beverley, who never shies away from trash talking or producing antics to incite the crowd or an opponent.

This, however, was a case of Beverley, who now plays for the Chicago Bulls, seemingly throwing some shade at James and the Lakers.

Beverley ran down the court after his shot over James and held his nose, as if to say the Lakers stink.

The Bulls came to Arena and defeated the Lakers 118-108 on Sunday, and Beverley played his role of the instigator and winner.

After the game, in which he had 10 points and five assists, Beverley was calm and collected in explaining his “too small” routine directed at James.

“I do it to everybody,” Beverley said. “I was just having fun, getting lost in the game. Just getting lost in the game, having fun, man. We’re not construction workers. We’re not guys that have to get up at 4 o’clock in the morning. We’re professional basketball players. It’s all about having fun. That’s what we tried to do tonight, well, what I tried to do tonight.”

As the clock was ticking down on the game, Beverley tapped fists with Lakers coach Darvin Ham. Beverley then looked at the crowd and yelled at the fans as he walked back to the Bulls’ bench.

Rob Pelinka, the Lakers’ vice president of basketball operations and general manager, traded Beverley to the Orlando Magic for Mo Bamba in February. Beverley's contract was bought out by the Magic, and he then signed with the Bulls.

That led him to his moment with James.

“I was just playing basketball, trying to get lost in basketball,” Beverley said. “Yeah, it was fun, man. Tonight was fun. Obviously, it’s good to see some old teammates, old coaching staff. The opportunity coach Ham [and] Pelinka gave me when I was with the Lakers never goes unforgotten. Always grateful. Fortunate to get a win tonight.”

The Bulls improved to 10-5 since Beverley joined the team.

And in his eyes, the Bulls are a better fit for him than the Lakers.

“Yeah, you know, if I’m a spoon, [Bulls coach] Billy [Donovan] is using me as a spoon,” Beverley said, smiling. “The Lakers, you know, I was a spoon and they used me as a fork.”


That was the response from the media after that Beverley comment.

Still, Beverley said his time playing for the Lakers was “amazing.”

“We had a lot of fun,” he said. “Obviously, you wished you would have won a little bit more games. But you really can’t put a hand on that. But I had a great time, man. Obviously, LeBron, he has always been my big bro. He was my vet when I came into the league with the Miami Heat. AD [Anthony Davis], he is from Chicago and it’s always love. So, we built a real bond and I’m just happy those guys got it rolling and I’m happy for their success.”

Yet one of the comments Beverley made before playing the Lakers was that he wanted to “knock them out of the playoffs.”

Beverley and the Bulls will get another chance toward that end Wednesday night in Chicago.

But there was more from Beverley before Sunday's game.

He posted on his Twitter feed: “Rollin’ back to Cali this weekend. Get your cameras out.” There was a picture of a camera and a roll of toilet paper, the Tweet finishing with @charmin #charminpartner.

Beverley maintained that it was a coincidence he was playing the Lakers soon after his post that showed a picture of him holding Charmin toilet paper.

“I got paid a ton of money to post something,” Beverley said. “And I was late posting it like a week ago, so I didn’t want the window to close. Good times and bad times, I’m not out here trying to troll anybody. I’m out here to be a basketball player. I’ll let you guys do all that.”

Beverley talked a lot leading up to the game, something he said Sunday “wasn’t talk.”

“So, I can’t even say it was talk,” Beverley said. “Great timing. I’m pretty sure Charmin enjoyed it a lot. I missed the window, like two weeks to post it. I had to post it last minute after a loss, when we played Philly. It just happened to come out the L.A. weekend. So, that doesn’t affect the way I go about the game. I’m here to win games and win a lot of them, and I’m fortune we got a win today."

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.