Near the end of Game 6 between the Suns and Clippers, with Phoenix clearly on the way to eliminating LA and advancing to the Finals, Patrick Beverley sort of list his mind.
Even by Beverley’s usual chippy standards, his two-handed shove in the back to Chris Paul as the Suns headed back to their bench for a timeout was egregious.
That earned Beverley an ejection, which was the obvious call. Beverley even apologized to Paul for it on Twitter:
@CP3 emotions got the best of me last night gang. My bad wasn’t meant for you. Congrats on making it to the Finals. Best of Luck 🤞🏾
— Patrick Beverley (@patbev21) July 1, 2021
Now the league has weighed in, handing Beverley the suspension everyone knew was coming, even if he won’t be serving it until next season.
The following was released by the NBA. pic.twitter.com/5zaKpoFiGr
— NBA Communications (@NBAPR) July 3, 2021
The only surprise here is that Beverley only got one game. It was just a shove, sure, but there’s more that goes into it than that. Going with the full-force shove to the back like Beverley did is more akin to a punch than anything else; Paul might flop more than just about anyone left in the NBA, but there’s no need to embellish what happened to him with that one.
If you do that to anyone during, say, a pickup game, there’s going to be a fight or at least a situation that needs immediate defusing before there’s a fight. Just one game feels kind of light, all things considered. But, hey, it’s going to stick with Beverley for a long time. Being an irritant in every way during play is one thing, and certainly has value. But doing something like this in a guy’s back, no matter what kind of back-and-forth you’ve had all series?
That just kind of sucks.