Patrick Beverley punctuated the Chicago Bulls win over the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday by converting a hook shot over LeBron James and then, predictably, hitting his former, taller teammate with a “too small” celebration.
Pat Bev going with the “too-small” on LeBron: pic.twitter.com/kTL1zV21N5 https://t.co/mN5HsZ1sYb
— Michael Corvo (@michaelcorvoNBA) March 26, 2023
In the rematch on Wednesday, it was Austin Reaves who proverbially sent Chicago packing with a runner and “too small” gesture over Pat Bev. (Reaves and D’Angelo Russell immediately began workshopping a related handshake.) The Lakers won, 121-110.
Austin Reaves to Pat Bev: “Too small”
Lakers beat Bulls, 121-110.
LA’s fully healthy starting lineup of AD (38/10), Vando (8/7), LeBron (25/7/4), DLo (17/5/4) and Austin (19/5 ast) was dominant.pic.twitter.com/zcQ4rs9kRI
— Michael Corvo (@michaelcorvoNBA) March 30, 2023
Afterward, LeBron — who scored 25 points in his second game back from injury and did not speak on Pat Bev’s antics on Sunday — was asked about the Beverley-Reaves moment. LeBron joked that even though Reaves may have once claimed to prefer Kobe Bryant over LeBron, he’ll “forgive” Reaves after he avenged LeBron and the Lakers against the arch-villain Beverley.
“AR always got my back,” said LeBron. “Even though he loved Kobe back in the day more than me. I forgive him.”
LeBron James on what he thought about Austin Reaves doing the “too small” gesture to Patrick Beverley: “That AR always got my back. Always. Even though he loved Kobe back in the day more than me. I forgive him.” pic.twitter.com/pt0jAMTFO9
— Jovan Buha (@jovanbuha) March 30, 2023
Reaves, who grew up in rural Arkansas, became a Lakers fan because of his Kobe fandom. He had been tapped with the nicknames “Hillbilly Kobe” and “AR-15” before stating his preference to be distanced from the monikers. In Chicago, he finished with 19 points on 7-of-8 shooting, 5 assists, and a +28.
LeBron’s good spirits are understandable after the Lakers’ (38-38) comfortable win on the first stop on their self-titled “get back, get back” tour, which will see them face five teams whom they previously lost to.
On Wednesday, the Lakers trotted out their ideal starting five — LeBron, AD, Reaves, Russell, Jarred Vanderbilt — for the first time. The unit was +20 in 17 minutes. Meanwhile, Beverley had zero points and was a game-worst -32.
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