If you caught the end of the Tuesday night’s (Apr.12) play-in matchup between the Los Angeles Clippers and Minnesota Timberwolves, you would have thought the playoffs were over and the Wolves won the chip.
It was one shining moment for the Minnesota Timberwolves, especially for Patrick Beverley, who took the matchup with his former team, the Clippers, very personally. Beverley and the Clippers had a bad breakup after the organization decided not to pay him, leading to the scrappy pro telling the Clippers to “pay me or trade me,” the organization opted for the latter.
In the game that we are sure Beverley had circled on his calendar, things were not looking good for him and his Timberwolves early, with Paul George and the Clippers leading for most of the game and keeping that Target Center crowd antsy. Momentum finally swung in favor of the Timberwolves in the fourth quarter, even with their all-star big man, Karl-Anthony Towns, not being a factor in the game and fouling out with seven minutes left to play. Thanks to spirited heroics from D’Angelo Russell and Anthony Edwards on the offensive end and big defensive moments from Patrick Beverly, the Timberwolves won the game, earning themselves a first-round playoff matchup with Ja Morant, the Memphis Grizzlies.
When the game clock hit zero, the celebration in the Target Center was reminiscent of a team that just won an NBA championship. Beverley led the team in celebrating the victory over his former team, hopping up on the scorer’s table, embracing fans, chucking his jersey into the crowd, and hugging his mom while sobbing uncontrollably. Twitter users couldn’t help but compare Beverley’s moment to when the late Kobe Bryant did the same thing after capturing an NBA title.
Beverley’s antics didn’t end there. He told the Clippers on the floor to take their asses back home and even had more words for them in a video recorded in the locker room. Beverley talked even more sh*t.
Of course, when the action left the Target Center and shifted by to Studio J, the Inside The NBA crew of Shaq, Ernie Johnson, Kenny Smith, and Charles Barkley wasted no time clowning the Timberwolves for their celebration.
They took things even further, adding Queen’s classic hit record and the ultimate jock jam, “We Are The Champions,” to the footage of the Timberwolves celebrating their win.
Even some NBA players hilariously reacted to the moment. Memphis Grizzlies star Ja Morant was one of the first to clown the Timberwolves, simply tweeting three laughing face emojis.
LeBron James, who is now chilling at his mansion on his couch, also shared laughing emojis reacting to the moment.
Washington Wizards guard Kyle Kuzma tweeted, “Minnesota just won the chip,” followed by laughing emojis.
The Timberwolves did have some former pro hoopers defending their behavior. ESPN NBA analyst and Stephen A. Smith destroyer JJ Redick said the mocking of the players for celebrating their play-in win seemed wrong to him.
Patrick Beverley would eventually hop on Twitter to defend himself and his team, writing “We celebrating because MINNESOTA DESERVES THIS. A LOT OF PAIN THE PAST COUPLE OF YEARS. BE HAPPY FOR US.”
We just hope the Minnesota Timberwolves keep that same energy cause the road to the chip only gets more complicated from here, and Ja Morant and the Grizzlies will be a challenge. That night in the Target Center will forever be a joke if they lose to the Grizzlies. You are not raising any banners for play-in tournament wins.
Photo: David Berding / Getty