Guard Patrick Beverley was ejected in the fourth quarter of the Clippers’ 114-110 loss to the Dallas Mavericks on Sunday after forcefully bouncing a ball toward a fan sitting courtside, saying he did so only because the man insulted his mother.
A lightning rod used to drawing the ire of opposing fans during his seven NBA seasons because of his physical play, Beverley has had exchanges with spectators but said he’d never been ejected until Sunday.
He said a comment by the fan in the fourth quarter crossed the line by mentioning his mother.
“I mean, I don’t know what you’d want me to do. What would you guys do? So, it’s all right. I’m going to stay professional and stay Pat and play hard and do what I do, but I’m a man and my morals are strong and I stand by my morals.”
Beverley was assessed a technical foul after the bounce pass into the first row of baseline seats hit the man’s feet and rolled into his arms. After a review by the officials, Beverley was ejected with 9 minutes 10 seconds remaining and the Mavericks leading 91-89. He finished with three points, four rebounds and three assists in nearly 17 minutes.
Clippers coach Doc Rivers said he heard the exchange.
“I told him at the end of the day it’s not right, fans should have control, as well, and they shouldn’t call you names, especially what I heard he called Pat and said something about his mom but it’s tough,” Rivers said. “I told him this is the life we live and you’ve got to turn the other cheek even though I know it’s hard. But we can’t get technicals, we just have to walk away. And then the league has to take care of stuff like that.”
A Mavericks spokeswoman did not immediately respond when asked whether the team would look into what was said. Cards on American Airlines Center seats warned fans that “inappropriate behavior will not be tolerated” and that fans “will be subject to ejection from the game and/or cancellation of ticket holder’s account.”
The man stayed to watch the end of the game.
“I’m a grown man but you know, you bring family into it, especially in a basketball game, it’s only so much you can tolerate as a man. ... Anybody who knows me, man, knows I’m a family-first guy and there are some things that are unacceptable,” Beverley said.
“After I told the refs, I told security, the Dallas security, told both of them and again he said it again. So if no one is going to control fans what are we supposed to do as players?”
A Clippers spokesman said there was no indication of whether Beverley would be fined by the NBA but a decision is expected by Monday, when the Clippers face New Orleans.
Such confrontations with fans have cost Beverley before. In 2017, the NBA fined him $25,000 after his exchange with an Oklahoma City fan.