After being traded to the Los Angeles Lakers last summer, veteran guard Patrick Beverley struggled early in the season, but he came on strong starting in December, especially when it came to his 3-point shooting.
In doing so, he helped the Lakers stay afloat when Anthony Davis missed over a month with a right foot stress injury, but ultimately the team considered him expendable.
They sent him to the Orlando Magic just before the trade deadline for backup center Mo Bamba, and after the Magic bought him out, he signed with the Chicago Bulls.
Beverley is one of a number of NBA players who are originally from Chicago, and playing for one’s hometown team can mean dealing with a lot of pressure, including self-imposed pressure.
But he says LeBron James gave him some good advice on how to deal with such a situation.
If you weren't on the Pat Bev train, don't try hopping back on 😂 pic.twitter.com/ubMVRDNylg
— Bulls Talk (@NBCSBulls) February 25, 2023
“I talked to LeBron; he’s my big brother, and I asked him a lot of questions — how was it playing at home,” said Beverley. “Biggest thing he told me — prioritize your job, which is basketball, and have everything else come after that, and I just try to do that since I’ve been back.”
James, of course, was drafted by the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2003 out of high school, which meant that he was playing just minutes away from his hometown of Akron, Ohio.
He had to deal with an incredible amount of hype and lofty expectations, but he has met them for the most part, and he is still apparently in his prime even at age 38.
The Bulls are hoping that Beverley will supply them with the type of defense they have been missing ever since Lonzo Ball, another former Laker, went down with a meniscus injury over a year ago.
At the All-Star break last season, Chicago had the best record in the Eastern Conference, but right now they’re in 11th place, and it looks likely they will miss the playoffs.
Perhaps Beverley’s experience and intensity will help it sneak into the play-in tournament.NEXT: Patrick Beverley Makes His Thoughts Clear On The Lakers