Los Angeles Lakers guard Patrick Beverley has been suspended for three games over an ugly altercation with Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton.
The NBA announced the 10-year veteran will miss the Lakers’ (5-11) back-to-back road games against the San Antonio Spurs (6-13) over the weekend and also their home game against the Indiana Pacers (10- 7) early next week.
NBA executive vice president and head of basketball operations Joe Dumars released a statement and said Beverley’s “history of unsportsmanlike acts” played a part in the punishment.
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The suspension is reportedly without pay and will cost Beverley $268,965 ($379k AUD) in salary, according to ESPN’s Bobby Marks.
The 34-year-old was assessed a technical foul and ejected for charging into Ayton after Ayton was standing over Lakers swingman Austin Reaves, while Reaves was on the floor following a flagrant foul by Suns guard Devin Booker.
It was a case of déjà vu for Beverley, with the aggressive guard being hit with a one-game league ban — back when he was playing for the LA Clippers — for an almost identical incident on Suns star guard Chris Paul in the fourth quarter of game six of the 2021 NBA Western Conference Finals.
The incident drew heavy criticism from many around the league with most members of the NBA media endorsing a suspension for the 34-year-old guard.
The suspension adds to what is already shaping as the worst season of the former second-round draft pick’s career, with Beverly averaging a dismal 4.1 points, 3.9 rebounds and 2.9 assists in 14 starts for the Lakers. He is shooting career lows from the field (26.6%) and the 3-point line (23.8%).
Beverley’s play this season has been so bad this season that sportscaster Nick Wright suggested during a segment on First Things First that the veteran should “be out of the league”.
“He is literally the worst offensive player in the league,” Wright said.
“… Defensively he is average at best at this point in his career.”