The side of NBA officials is an art form to curry, and veteran Timberwolves guard Patrick Beverly has demonstrated his mastery of the concept throughout his career.
There’s a reason why Beverly usually gets away with being the league’s most physical perimeter defender, who rarely gives off an inch of the floor—which earns the nickname “Mr. 94 Feet.”
There’s a reason he probably has more leeway with the referee when he complains about calls during play. This filled in on display in Game 3 of the Timberwolves’ opening-round playoff series against the Memphis Grizzlies, when Beverly, who already had a technical glitch, didn’t get another — leading to his disapproval — even. That he too jumped up and down and screamed in the face of official Zach Zerba as he ran down the floor after believing he had been fouled.
It all has something to do with the way Beverly manages her relationships with the authorities, and even seems to massage her ego at times. Before the second game of the series—Minnesota won Game 1 despite Memphis shooting 43 free throws—Beverly said the referee had “done a great job all season.”
“It’s a tough game to referee, a real tough game to referee. They’re doing a helluva job. They did a helluva job last game,” Beverly said. “Can’t get caught in the referee. They have a tough, tough… job to come out of here and try to take the call and not pick up the call. I’m lucky to be a basketball player and not a referee, because that’s their job.” Much harder than me.”
Memphis coach Taylor Jenkins said Beverly ran to the officials’ defense again on Monday, saying he had “never seen a more inconsistent, arrogant official game” than the Grizzlies’ Game 4 defeat.
“Whatever hit comes my way, I will take, protect our people. We know we have to be better. But from the get-go, it was foul, foul, foul, foul, foul. Inconsistency,” Jenkins said. “There was actually a play in which a whistle was blown even before contact was made. hesitant.”
Jenkins was fined $15,000 for his comments, the NBA announced Monday. Beverly said the coach’s comments were “very interesting”. Beverly noted the high volume of Memphis free throws in Game 1 and the fact that Timberwolves coach Chris Finch did not comment much on him after that game.
“He took it to the chin,” Beverly said.
This was because Minnesota still won. Finch hasn’t been too shy to express his displeasure with Call throughout the season. Beverly then said that he felt twice as much as he accused Grizzlies star point guard Ja Morant, “(and) I didn’t get the call.”
“But we’re not complaining about the referee here,” Beverly said.
Not at all He would never do that.
“I think the referees are in a difficult position because it already is,” Beverly said. “Coming from a youth coach, you don’t do anything like that. I’ve been in this league for a decade, it’s something you don’t. Especially at the time of the playoffs. So I was a little confused about it.”
Beverly was then asked if he was going to share his thoughts with Jenkins in person.
“I mentioned it to you guys,” Beverly said to the crowd of media members. “I’m pretty sure you’re going to make it out.”