Patrick Beverley’s mission every day is to read a book for at least 30 minutes in an attempt to find his inner peace, help control his behavior and enhance his leadership skills.
The Clippers point guard spent the summer at home in Chicago working with his trainer, Jeff Pagliocca, the two of them intertwining the work on Beverley’s game and his mental approach to his behavior on and off the court.
Even with the Clippers acquiring transcendent stars Kawhi Leonard and Paul George over the summer, Beverley’s role as one of the team’s leaders does not diminish.
In order to have the right influence on his teammates, Beverley said he had to work on “my mind” over the summer. Reading the Bible and one of his favorite books, “The Richest Man Who Ever Lived: King Solomon’s Secrets to Success, Wealth and Happiness,” is helping him evolve as a player and person.
“The more I mature as a man the more I grow,” Beverley said. “I read the Good Book, follow those rules, those laws in [the Bible] and I know the better basketball player I’ve become. That’s been my whole thing. I gain knowledge. If I gain knowledge, then I’m able to get knowledge from everywhere else and it’ll work out in my favor.
“My trainer made it an emphasis that I do 30 minutes of reading every day and that’s kind of changed the way I look at things and the way I carry myself and my behavior — slow to temper and all that stuff. I just try to go from there. I read every day. It’s mandatory. It’s all mental and that’s all behavior, you know?”
Beverley pointed out that he had 14 technical fouls last season, tied for fifth most in the NBA. That, Beverley said, can’t continue.
He was quicker to point out the $25,000 fine the NBA levied against him last season for bouncing a basketball at a fan sitting courtside in Dallas for cursing his mother. It’s something he doesn’t want to happen again.
“Me and Jeff’s biggest thing this year is, ‘Behavior is greatness and greatness is behavior.’ If you watch the guys who have been great, you didn’t hear about them getting in trouble,” Beverley said. “You didn’t hear about them being [fifth] in the league in technical fouls. That’s not cool. I want to fix that. And if I fix my behavior, I think my game matures also.”
Beverley and Pagliocca agreed that no details were too small — including how they trained on the court, and how they sought to improve his behavior, including when he’s critical of himself. Details that Beverley says will show he’s no longer a “wild and reckless guy” on the court.
“There are certain obstacles that could happen during the season or things that he’s faced in his past,” said Pagliocca, who runs Evolution Athletics, in a call with The Times. “How do you handle those things like a pro at all times? How can you be mature at all times? How can you make sure you’re prepared at all times? And I think those conversations that we’ve had, the mental training, is building that preparation. It was important to him that no stone was left unturned.
“I’m always trying to find ways that he’s advancing as a person. I think that the more he’s reflecting and evaluating himself, I think the more growth that’s there. I think that’s what we tried to target all summer, just to make sure you’re getting sharper mentally, because the basketball I think will take care of itself. How can you be the greatest player you can be? I think that comes a lot with making sure you’re growing and that’s behavior again.”
In two-plus seasons together, Clippers coach Doc Rivers has watched Beverley blossom.
He watched how the 6-foot-1 veteran improved his game on the court, going from putting up 7.6 points, 3.8 assists and 5.0 rebounds while shooting 40.7% from the field and 39.7% from three-point range during the 2018-19 regular season to averaging 9.8 points, 4.7 assists and 8.0 rebounds while shooting 43% from the field and 43.3% from three-point range during the playoffs against Golden State.
More importantly, in Rivers’ eyes, is the personal development of Beverley, 31.
“I want him to be just great all-around, not just on the floor. He has really bought into his leadership role with me. Now there is another step,” Rivers said. “There is the human step now, and I think in the long run that will help with his game as well. And he’s doing that, being more thoughtful, just a lot of stuff. I just think all that helps him as a person because he’s going to be a person a lot longer than he’s going to be a basketball player.”
The Clippers rewarded Beverley with a three-year, $40-million contract over the summer, leaving him nearly speechless as he tried to comprehend the team showing faith in him.
As such, he wants to show them his gratitude by displaying improved behavior and leadership.
“Paul George, Kawhi [Leonard] and Lou [Williams], we understand that they are our bucket-getters and we understand Paul and Kawhi are our leaders,” Beverley said. “So, it’s up to everybody else to understand their role and be the best in your role. My role is different from Lou’s role. But I’m going to make sure I’m on top of my role. I’m just really trying to be great. I’ve learned over the years that the more I mature as a man, the more my game matures and it trickles down.”