The Los Angeles Lakers have formed an extremely combustible roster after trading for Patrick Beverley with no active intention to get rid of Russell Westbrook. Beverley and Westbrook are sworn rivals and have had various unpleasant interactions with each other over their careers as rivals in the Western Conference. Now, they have to learn to be teammates.
Everyone is aware of the history between Beverley and Westbrook, so the trade to acquire PatBev for Talen Horton-Tucker and Stanley Johnson was looked at by many as the first move to bolster the roster before moving Westbrook to acquire more rotational pieces.
Jeanie Buss spoke about the dynamic between Brodie and PatBev, drawing a parallel to an earlier instance of supposed rivals becoming teammates on the Lakers as Kobe Bryant shared a locker room alongside Matt Barnes after their altercations on the court.
“I remember all the videos that circulated when the Lakers brought in Matt Barnes and his relationship with Kobe over the years as one of the best defenders of Kobe and now he becomes teammates with Kobe. We’ve seen these storylines before."
"He just brings that work ethic that we value, that coach Ham values and is going to be a leader in the locker room. It has nothing to do with Russ. People love to pull up storylines and create something, but that isn’t the case.” (h/t SportsKeeda)
While this is a fair comparison, the situation with the new Lakers teammates cannot apply to Kobe and Barnes. Beverley injured Westbrook all those years ago, and both have said things about each other in the media that can't be retracted. Whether it was Russ calling Beverley's defense 'just running around' to Beverley attacking Westbrook on JJ Redick's podcast in 2022.
If the pair stay teammates into training camp, they may bring the most competitive sides of each other out on the court. If it works, the Lakers could play with energy they haven't seen in years based on the energy of their scrappy backcourt. This would be hugely complementary to both Anthony Davis and LeBron James.