Houston’s Patrick Beverly’s knee-to-knee collision with Oklahoma City superstar Russell Westbrook resulted in a torn meniscus for the Thunder point guard. Westbrook’s injury required surgery and, obviously, severely hampers OKC’s chances of winning an NBA championship.
One Thunder ball boy was so incensed by what some are considering a dirty play that he sent death threats to Beverly via Twitter, according to The Houston Chronicle.
The vitriol about the play in which Westbrook suffered a season-ending knee injury escalated to death threats directed at Beverley, including one from someone who describes himself as a Thunder ball boy.
Mitchell Brown sent a tweet that threatened, “Patrick Beverly (sic), I’m coming to kill you.” He sent another using Beverley’s Twitter handle; “@pavbev21 I’m coming to kill you.”
Capt. Dexter Nelson, a spokesman for the Oklahoma City Police Department, said officers in conjunction with the Houston Police Department and the NBA are looking into what he described as “Internet threats.”
Nelson could not elaborate on the matter, state law prohibiting authorities from commenting on a juvenile case unless an arrest is made. In addition, he said the department does not comment on suspects.
Thunder spokesperson Matt Tumbleson said: “We do not condone his comments. He works game nights on a voluntary basis. We will handle this matter internally.”
Shortly after Thunder officials were told of the tweets, Brown deleted them with an apology: “Yesterday I posted something completely Inappropriate and I need to apologize. I was out of line and it will not happen again.”
He later removed that tweet and said his account was hacked.
Unfortunately, the injury and this subsequent news is overshadowing the best play of young Beverly’s career. A second round pick in 2009 for the Lakers, Beverly did not see NBA playing time until this season, averaging 5.6 points, 2.9 assists and 2.7 rebounds in about 17 minutes per contest, according to Bleacher Report.
While this young ball boy was horrendously out of line, the rest of the Oklahoma City team are actively coming to Beverly’s aid. Kevin Durant called what happened an “unfortunate play.”
“It’s just an unfortunate play,” Durant said. “I hope he’s not hanging his head off of it. It’s just one of those freak accidents.”
Thunder coach Scott Brooks was in agreement, and even took Durant’s comments one step further.
“That was not a dirty play,” Brooks said. “It’s part of basketball. One of the things the kid does, he plays hard. Now, was it unfortunate and was he trying to get under his skin? Absolutely. But it wasn’t a dirty play. You want to play physical. You want to play hard. That’s what I like. That’s how you have to play.”
As for Beverly himself, the 24-year old says he’s not letting the death threats get under his skin. He also reiterated that, while he was trying to play physical, playoff-style basketball, in no way was he trying to injure anybody.
“I knew my … intent,” Beverley said. “My intent was no one to get hurt. It’s an unfortunate situation.
“Now, I’m on TNT for the wrong reasons. I can’t control what happened. It was an unfortunate situation. Last game, someone else did the same thing. I have to move on from the situation and focus on the game.”
The ball boy should just be focusing on the game as well.
From home, on his television, far away from the stadium. In this humble blogger’s opinion, he should never be allowed near it again if the reports are true and he wasn’t actually hacked.