Lakers face the past in Beverley and Westbrook when looking to the future

Lakers guards Patrick Beverley, left, and Russell Westbrook talk during a break in play.
The Lakers moved guards Patrick Beverley, left, and Russell Westbrook at the trade deadline. Now the former teammates will try to derail the Lakers’ playoff push in upcoming games with their new teams.
(Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)

Hey everyone, it’s Dan Woike of the L.A. Times, and welcome to a weekend edition of the Lakers newsletter, the team officially back to .500 — which I guess means the last 74 games were all just kind of a waste of time.

Today we’ll look ahead at some of the faces from the Lakers’ past that they’re going to see here as they move to the finish line.


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Dennis Schroder and Anthony Davis didn’t have to hear what Patrick Beverley has been saying to know what he’s been saying.

Since their former teammate got traded at the deadline, Beverley has conducted on-air autopsies of the Lakers on his podcast, his critical words about the Lakers’ communication and chemistry issues making their way into the Lakers’ locker room.

After signing with the Chicago Bulls, Beverley clearly stated his goal. “Knock them out the playoffs,” he said on his podcast.

Beverley returns Sunday to Los Angeles with Chicago, a chance for the Bulls to halt the positive momentum the Lakers have built with a three-game winning streak when the teams play a pair of games on each of their home courts.

“That’s fine,” Davis said Friday with a grin. “I mean, he can come try. He can come try. A lot of people have tried. … We’ll see Sunday. We’ll see Sunday and Wednesday. We got one here, we got one there.”

Publicly, no one has expressed any real hard feelings about Beverley or Russell Westbrook, whom the Lakers will see at the end of their five-game trip when they play the Clippers. Privately, everyone has acknowledged that the atmosphere within the team’s locker room has improved since the team reset its roster at the trade deadline.

Lakers forward Anthony Davis, left, and guard Dennis Schroder, try to steal the ball from Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard.
(Steve Dykes / Associated Press)

Both have played well with their new teams, Westbrook earning raves for his attitude with the Clippers and the Bulls welcoming Beverley’s aggressiveness and leadership.

As Beverley acknowledged on his show, the Lakers’ problems when he was with the team went beyond basketball.

Friday, asked about Beverley’s podcast, Schroder said he enjoyed playing with the feisty guard.

“I was pretty impressed being a teammate with him, playing with him and battling with him. I didn’t expect that. Good teammate,” Schroder said. “But now, obviously, he’s with the Bulls. And it’s the same approach for us. We try to control ourselves and do the things that we can control and take care of business. And, of course, the Bulls, we have a lot of respect for them. But it’s just us at first, try to control the things that we can do and we’ll be in great shape.”

Since Beverley joined the Bulls, Chicago is 9-5. Beverley has started in each of those games.


Davis, like Schroder, said he enjoyed playing with Beverley.

“It was great. Pat is Pat. If you don’t know Pat, then you don’t know Pat. I think he … I expect nothing less from anything that Pat Bev said,” Davis said with a laugh. “I’ve known him outside of basketball. Obviously we’re both from the same city [Chicago]. But that’s what he wants. He has no filter, he’s going to say how he feels. We don’t look too deep into it. But I love seeing it. It’s funny to me. Like I said, I know him, though. So, it’s Pat being Pat.”

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Song of the week

It’s My Life” by Talk Talk

There will be plenty of talk about the past with the Lakers seeing the Bulls, and eventually Westbrook and the Clippers, but ultimately, everyone has been bettered by the divorces. Sometimes, a little bit of selfishness is best and this song celebrates it.

In case you missed it

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The story behind Anthony Davis’ ‘dominant’ third quarter in Lakers’ win over Suns


Elliott: D’Angelo Russell brought the energy in win over Suns. But he’s also ‘at peace’

‘He was huge for us.’ Austin Reaves in starting lineup pays off as Lakers beat Suns

Lakers not feeling pressure as sprint to the finish begins

Austin Reaves has come a long way from a tiny Arkansas town to Lakers ‘MVP!’

Elliott: Plenty of blame for Lakers’ loss to Mavericks, and it starts with Anthony Davis

‘Just a spark plug’: Why Wenyen Gabriel had a big impact for Lakers in loss


Until next time...

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