There’s a terrific article by Shea Serrano at The Ringer, in which the art and science of being Patrick Beverley are laid down in words both inspiring and, sometimes, puzzling. (Such is the Zen of Pat.) Serrano, in the typical Ringer style, gives a sort of Lillian Ross (RIP Lillian) fly-on-the-wall report that lets Beverley’s own statements and surroundings tell the story, or seem to. Serrano takes in Beverley’s new LA digs (he’s the Clippers point guard now) and paints an engaging portrait of the man who says he’s the NBA’s best defender — and who believes a lot in destiny (how could he not?). The article, Patrick Beverley Just Said That, is highly recommended. But we just want to point out this part where Beverley says that the Spurs legendary head coach Gregg Popovich is a devious trickster. Not in those words, but still.
In a tiny segment of the piece, Serrano writes about how Beverley got tricked by Popovich into going all unrelenting defensive-crazy on Spurs rookie Dejounte Murray in their last playoff series “only to realize later on that Gregg Popovich likely wanted him to do that.” Pop beat Beverley at the mental game. Serrano quotes Beverley on Popovich’s ploy: “The way Popovich coaches is like chess. If he knows he can beat you at this one spot, he’ll wait to do that. So I should’ve waited. I should’ve made him feel comfortable, and then jumped on him in the fourth quarter. Pop just threw that bait in the water and I went for it.” Beverley tells Serrano he’ll be smarter next time. Spurs fans know that Popovich will too.