Playoffs 2017: West First Round -- Rockets (3) vs. Thunder (6)
Houston Rockets' Patrick Beverley says he was trying to protect himself
OKLAHOMA CITY — After being fined $25,000 by the NBA for a postgame exchange with a fan Friday night at Chesapeake Energy Arena, Rockets guard Patrick Beverley said he was only trying to protect and stand up for himself.
“My thoughts about the fine is exactly this,” Beverley said while sitting in his locker prior to Game 4 against the Thunder on Sunday. “If the NBA won’t help protect players in situations with fans, I’m OK with the hazing, I’m OK with the boos, I’m OK with the other fans rooting for their team. But I’m not OK with them doing disrespect while I’m on the ground after a foul and a fan yelling out to me: ‘F— you, Patrick Beverley! F— you, Patrick Bevereley! F— you, Patrick Beverley!’ and waving a clapper in my face.
“I’m not comfortable with that. So if the NBA won’t protect the players in that manner, I feel the need as a man, as a grown man who has children, who has morals, to stand up for the right thing. I have to protect myself.
“I felt like I didn’t do anything out of the ordinary. I addressed him and said, ‘At the end of the day, this is a basketball game. This is a game. I’m a grown man. You’re a grown man. Let’s just keep it professional.’ Just like that. There’s no need for blatant disrespect. And that’s all.”
Beverley has a history of being a villain in OKC ever since a collision with Russell Westbrook in 2013 knocked the Thunder guard out of the playoffs. He received a death threat on Twitter at the time and required extra security for the remainder of the playoff series.
On Friday night, Beverley and the fan — identified as Stuart Scaramucci, son of a Thunder minority owner — first had a run-in when Beverley fell out of bounds in the second quarter of Game 3. The pair traded words and Beverley was walked away by referee Scott Foster.
When the Thunder’s 115-113 win was over, Beverley, who was not in the game at the time, approached the fan again and another exchange took place. Teammate Sam Dekker walked Beverley away.
When asked about the fan’s response, Beverley said: “He shrugged his shoulders like, ‘Whatever.’ His wife puts her finger in my face. But I accept the $25. That’s OK. At the same time, if it happens again and the NBA won’t protect its players, I feel the need as a person, as a man who has two young boys, who has a daughter, who has strong morals about myself, who’s been raised by a single mother, to protect myself if no one else is going to protect me.”
Beverley said he did not talk to anyone from the league office about the incident.
“I really didn’t want to talk to the NBA because we have an early game today,” he said. “So I wanted to get that out and stay focused, on-track.
Beverley said he didn’t know if the fact that fan was the son of an owner had an effect on the fine. He also said he believed the fine was excessive, that he wasn’t concerned if the same fan was back in the same seat for Game 4 and he wasn’t intimidated.
“I’m not physically intimidated by anyone unless the Man Above comes and walks into my face. I’m not physically intimidated by anyone on this earth. I asked the referees for help. They said they didn’t see anything.
“Again, no one’s going to protect players. I can’t go to Nene and say: ‘Hey Nene, get the guy in the stands!’ I can’t do that.
“Do you address it the way I addressed it — hey man, there’s no need for name-calling — and if you do address it, should you be fined $25,000 for doing that?”
Beverley also reminded that it’s not the first time he’s had a problem in Oklahoma City. After the collision with Westbrook in the 2013 playoffs, Beverley received a death threat that was traced back to a Thunder ball boy.
“To put things in moral perspective, this isn’t the first incident I’ve had with OKC,” he said. “I had a ball boy tell me he’s going to kill me. What type of league, what is this? I had to have a police officer in front of my house. I can’t be on the same floor as my teammates my first year on the playoffs. Ever. This is my first year in NBA basketball having a person on Twitter saying he’s going to kill me.
“So what to do? You guys tell me what to do. Then I have this situation. So what to do if no one’s going to protect me?
“I’ve never been in this predicament ever. I’ve never been suspended in the league since I’ve been here. I just felt like I have to address the situation before it gets out of hand. If I don’t address the situation, who knows what might happen in Game 4. Who knows? Who knows? When you leave stuff in the air, then you have to prepare for the worst. Instead of going down that road, I addressed that situation so it could be nipped in the bud. It is what it is.”