We have seen NBA players pick up technical fouls for taunting. We've seen them get technicals for cursing, for obscene gestures and for making unnecessary contact with an official. On one hilarious occasion, we even saw Tim Duncan get T'd up for laughing. But never in the history of the NBA have we seen a technical foul quite like the one Eric Lewis hit Patrick Beverley with at the end of regulation of Saturday's game between the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics.
Let's set the scene. With the Lakers up by three points in the final seconds, Beverley is called for an incredibly late foul on a Jaylen Brown layup. Brown converts the and-1, Boston ties the game. Moments later, the officials miss such an obvious foul on a LeBron James layup attempt that would have won the game. Suddenly, a game the Lakers should have won in regulation is going to overtime.
But Beverley was not going to take this lying down. As a veteran, he knows that complaining to a ref, on its own, isn't going accomplish anything. So after the horn, he takes matters into his own hands -- literally -- when he attempts to show Lewis his mistake by taking a camera out to the middle of the court.
Patrick Beverley really brought a camera out to the floor 😅 pic.twitter.com/7hMugg7BaN— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) January 29, 2023
This immediately raises at least three critical questions:
- Where did Beverley get the camera? Did he borrow it from one of the game photographers? Did a Lakers staffer have it? Or is Beverley a budding photographer who rolls to arenas with his gear?
- What was actually on the camera? Was it merely symbolic? Or had Beverley found an angle he truly wanted to discuss with Lewis?
- Was anybody else in on this? Darvin Ham almost certainly wouldn't have sanctioned such an obvious technical foul right before the beginning of overtime, especially when that extra point the Lakers gave up wound up costing them a chance at a game-tying 3-pointer at the end of overtime.
These questions may be answered in time. For now, Beverley's stunt immediately ranks as arguably the funniest technical foul in the history of professional basketball.
Luminaries from across the sport have already chimed in. Former teammate Karl-Anthony Towns tagged Beverley on Twitter along with three laughing emojis, to which Beverley responded "No comment love gang" followed by a heart emoji. NBA Twitter maven World Wide Wob added it to his Mount Rushmore of all-time technicals, joining the aforementioned Duncan call, the time Rasheed Wallace was ejected for staring at the official and the technical Amir Johnson received for wrestling a ball away from an official.
Beverley will almost certainly be fined for the incident, but what's a few thousand dollars compared to immortality? Beverley has created one of the great memes of our time. Even if it came in a loss, it will stand as one of the most memorable moments of this Lakers season.