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Patrick Beverley says 50% of NBA players do not love basketball

Chicago Bulls v Charlotte Hornets

CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA - MARCH 31: Patrick Beverley #21 of the Chicago Bulls brings the ball up court against the Charlotte Hornets during their game at Spectrum Center on March 31, 2023 in Charlotte, North Carolina. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images)

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Players love the money. Some love the lifestyle and perks of being an NBA player.

But how many NBA players love basketball?

Patrick Beverley said on the most recent “The Pat Bev Podcast” that he thinks 50% of NBA players don’t love the game (hat tip Colin Ward-Henninger at CBS Sports).

“Most teammates I know who don’t love basketball are the really f****** good ones — are the most skilled ones. It’s the wildest s*** in the world. Preparation is different when you got so much skill. You could just show up to the game and get a m************ 30, 40. That might work against other teams who aren’t that good. But you can’t do that in the playoffs.”

There’s some logic to this. If a person is gifted with natural athleticism and skills, they may gravitate towards basketball because of the lifestyle and potential money. It doesn’t have to be about a love of the game. However, for a role player scrapping to stay in the league, if they don’t love the game enough to put in the work, it will show.

Beverley had to have a love of the game and a passion for the craft to become an 11-year NBA veteran. He wasn’t born with the natural skills he mentions or elite athleticism (by NBA standards), he was drafted in the second round and spent three years playing in Russia before his game matured to an NBA level. He had to love the game to put in the work needed to be where he is now.

Not every player in the NBA loves the game like Beverley does, but if he is the bar it’s not a surprise not many clear it.

Beverley is a free agent heading into this summer.