I met Patrick Beverley two years ago at Rodeo Houston. Realistically, “met” isn’t the right word though.
I was strutting around the carnival like I owned the place, and Bev just walked up to me. Ok, I saw Bev walking towards me and put myself in his path. Ok ok, so I saw Bev walking towards me while on the phone and put myself in his path and tried to get his attention. And instead of just bulldozing over me like the annoying, worst-kind-of-fan that I am, like he would if I was an NBA point guard (spoiler alert: I’m not), Patrick Beverley switched the hand he was using to talk on his cell phone and gave me a high five and a finger-point as he rushed by. And proceeded on his way, giving high fives to more fans as he continued to wherever he was going.
The city of Houston is going to miss him.
Bev was the kind of guy who would look for opportunities to get out and about with his fans and then end up at an Astros game because that’s what they suggested he do. Off the court, he was accessible and open-hearted; on the court, he was an opponents’ worst nightmare.
‘Mr. 94 Feet,’ as he’s known, pestered point guards up and down the floor, on or off the ball. Beverley’s quickness helped him position his body in the optimal place to be the biggest possible nuisance, and his aggressiveness made sure to get his opponents’ attention regardless of where he was on the court. His scrappiness and attitude made for several defining moments in his Rockets career.
I’ll never forget Beverley bringing Toyota Center to its collective feet with this steal of the MVP in Game 1 of the 2017 NBA Playoffs series against OKC.
Or the clutch 3-pointer he drilled to put Game 2 of the same series out of reach.
Hell, even Bev winning the NBA Skills Competition was memorable for his hustle to come back and win the damn thing.
Beverley was always a team-first guy, and his Rockets’ teammates relied on him to set the tone every game. He was the heart and soul of the team the last few years. When his team needed him, he stepped up with tough defense or a corner 3. When Bev played through a heavy heart following the death of his grandfather before Game 4 of the Spurs series, the team came together around him. It was the hustle and tenacity that he brought to the court that night and every night that endeared him to the Rockets and the city of Houston.
Houston embraced Beverley in the best way. Even when he was talking on his cell phone and clearly in a hurry, he took the time to make a 23-year-old’s day.
We’ll miss you, Bev.