The word ‘Cone’ has now entered the NBA lexicon.
Thank you, Pat Beverley. I think.
Beverley went on the GetUp show on ESPN Monday morning and took umbrage with Chris Paul’s performance in Game 7 of the Western Conference semifinals against the Dallas Mavericks, much to the shock (and secret delight) of the hosts. The Suns, considered NBA title favorites, were blown out by the Mavs, 123-90, losing the series at home.
Beverley, who has played with the Clippers and is now a member of the T-Wolves, is a three-time performer on the NBA All-Defensive teams.
In other words, and unlike the stuffed shirts of bluster ESPN trots out as hosts, he’s been in the arena. He’s even got into it with Paul a few times. Beverley shoved Paul in the back in Game 6 of the the 2021 Western Conference Finals during a timeout.
The two were traded for one another in 2017.
At first, it seems like Beverley is just mimicking the GetUp hosts; some light criticism of Paul, should have played better blah blah. That’s what these shows are all about anyway, say something…anything to provoke a reaction.
Then it veers off.
I give you: Cone.
What Pat Beverley said on ESPN
Roll tape. Beverley in a button-up white shirt comes out firing, saying:
“There ain’t nobody worried about Chris Paul when you’re playing the Phoenix Suns, nobody in the NBA. I am just letting you know how NBA players feel.”
“That’s the game to a point where he gets all the petty calls, all the swipe throughs at the end. You want to be really honest? He should have fouled out. He should have fouled out. The last game too. You see the replay against [Mavs star Luka] Doncic. He hit him on the shoulder, right in the mouth, ref don’t call anything. If that’s me, review it, (waves hands) flagrant one. If that’s him, they don’t call it. So let’s not get it twisted. He should have fouled out. He can’t guard. He can’t guard.”
It’s at this point where Stephen A. Smith recognizes the total immolation happening before him, and he (probably) knows he needs to protect Chris Paul as a source, so he tries to pull Beverley back saying that’s he’s never heard this before.
Beverley responds with the most truthful thing ever uttered on this show, before or after.
“Guys don’t tell you the truth.”
Now bring on The Cone
Beverley’s voice stays resolute. To him, he’s telling Smith and the other host (Mike Greenberg) what players really talk about. And guess what? They don’t like everyone.
Shock, I know. Do you like every single person in your workplace? Beverley continues:
“I will tell the truth. CP can’t guard nobody man. Everybody in the NBA knows that. What we call him? Cone. You know what you do with cone, like in the summer time, you get a cone, you make a move, what does the cone do?”
Off camera vanilla host says “stays still.”
“Exactly,” Beverley shouts. “He’s a cone! Everyone knows that. Y’all don’t want to accept it. Now give him the Ben Simmons slander that you give to everyone. Give him that PG [Paul George] slander that you give to everyone.”
That last remark is directed at Smith, who appears shocked that anyone A. listens to his slander and B. doesn’t realize that it’s all a weird form of performance art.
Is there truth in this dialogue?
Paul fans will say Beverley is a nobody and doesn’t have the right to bad-mouth a player considered one of the best point guards of all time.
The blowback against Beverley already started; Matt Barnes, who played for 14 years in the NBA, called Beverley’s comments disrespectful and said there was a thin line between criticism and disrespect (completely ignoring the fact that shows like GetUp exist to walk that line) and saying Beverley was ‘talking like a clown’ and ‘just needed a red nose.’
Paul has cultivated a reputation as a tough player. Just google Chris Paul and ‘nut punch.’ His reputation on the court is not pristine.
The fact that that little nugget of information has leaked reveals there is more going on in the NBA than the general public is led to believe. Patrick Beverley lives in that world. He showed a part of it Monday and made Cone a new four-letter word in the NBA.