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Patrick Beverley Commits To Tantrum-Based Marketing For His Podcast

Milwaukee Bucks guard Patrick Beverley makes a thumbs up sign while waiting during free throws in an Eastern Conference Playoff game against the Indiana Pacers.
Stacy Revere/Getty Images

The value of provocation is entirely based on the size of the target, and everyone understands that, except in those cases where the provocateur is more interested in the attention than the justice of the cause.

So of course Milwaukee's Patrick Beverley twice threw a ball into the crowd at last night's Bucks-Pacers game in Indianapolis, and of course he verbally demeaned a journalist for not subscribing to his podcast, because he forgot that proper provocation requires always punching up. He just did it to do it because, well, the brand isn't the brand if you worry about things like motivation.

Beverley first tried his hand at justifying it all, blaming a fan and lack of help from arena security. Perhaps sensing some heat at his back, he then moved on to the regrets portion of his offseason. He did later apologize for throwing the ball, saying "I have to do better" in that "I've never done better before so don't hold me to it" kind of way. He also called ESPN producer Malinda Adams Friday morning to apologize for using her as a prop in the promotion of the Pat Bev Podcast, which is also promotion of a sort. He'd been doing this refusal-to-speak-to-nonsubscribers pitch to other reporters since he got to Milwaukee, though, so the apology might only have been prompted because he finally got called out on it in front of the nation.

We could rationalize the frustrations concomitant in being near the end of a career (he is 35, and has been on six teams in three years), not to mention being traded from one team with deep playoff aspirations (Philadelphia) to another team with playoff aspirations (Milwaukee) only to learn that they both were expelled within three hours of each other and that the team he ultimately landed on, the one with greater championship aspirations, went out far more feebly than the team he left.

But apologies or no, it was still a bad look even for what it is: advancing the brand. Beverley made a 12-year career out of being a professional irritant, and it had its uses when he was trying to unnerve opposing players because we tend to like that kind of spunk as a kind of David-v.-Goliath equalizer. All his playing incidents were all of the punching-up variety, while these were just temper tantrums and/or staged belligerence (we don't pretend to know how to read his mind, only how to skim it). We don't even want necessarily to judge his character, because that's another forfeit we are unqualified to advance. Tactically, though, he failed miserably, twice, and the proof is he apologized for both within 12 hours. Provocation either stands on its own as justifiable, or it's just bullying those you deem smaller than you.

And bullying isn't marketable the way provocation is. Any good podcaster should know that.

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