On January 7, 2013 the Rockets signed a 6’1, 24-year old point guard off a team in Russia. He took the roster spot of Scotty Machado, who was waived the same day, and assigned directly to the D-League. After leaving the University of Arkasas because he’d lost his eligibility due to academics five years prior, he was drafted in the second round, but never made an NBA roster, making stops in Ukraine and Greece before Russia. He was supposed to be the Rockets 3rd point guard. By the time the 2013 season ended, he was the starter. That player was Patrick Beverley.
Wednesday, the Rockets traded Beverly as part of the package that netted them Chris Paul. The trade of Beverley wasn’t a surprise, and while there’s certainly the excitement of gaining one of the best point guards to ever play, let’s take a step back and remember one of the guys the Rockets lost.
Beverley won’t go down as one of the best players in franchise history, but he leaves as one of the most beloved. He won’t be remembered for his talent, but he will be remembered for his toughness and his scrappiness. The little guy wasn’t afraid to mix it up with anyone. That’s what got him going, that’s what got his teammates going, and that’s what got the Toyota Center crowd going, and that’s what annoyed guys that played against him.
He hounded opposing point guards up the floor, not giving an inch. He played physical, and if someone took a shot at him, he’d give one right back, even if that someone was LeBron James
In the Rockets first playoff game this season against Oklahoma City, Beverley was leveled by a Steven Adams screen. He stayed down for a bit, and looked like he’d have to leave the game, but in classic Beverley fashion he didn’t, and played one of his best games in a Rockets blowout win.
Then of course there was the final quarter of that series when he went nose-to-nose with the league’s MVP, for not exactly the first time.
The guy never backed down from anyone, that’s why he’s loved here, and that’s why he’ll be missed, and you know the first time he faces his old team, Patrick Beverley will be in the face of all the guys wearing Rockets jerseys, especially the guy playing his old position.