Patrick Beverley has endured summers in Chicago and winters in Russia, so there isn’t much chance he’s going to get emotionally distraught over another night in Oklahoma City.

And even if Beverley were prone to get his feelings hurt when people hurl abuse his way, he can consult one of the NBA’s reigning experts on the fine art of being a visiting team villain.

“In the famous words of Bill Walton, if they’re cheering you in the opponent’s gym, you’re doing something wrong,” said Rockets coach Kevin McHale, a veteran of the Lakers-Celtics brouhahas of the 1980s. “I don’t think they’re cheering (Beverley), so he must be doing something right.”

Wednesday night’s Game 5 will be the Rockets’ first game at Oklahoma City since the Game 2 incident in which Thunder guard Russell Westbook suffered a knee injury when he appeared to be trying to call a timeout and Beverley moved in for an attempted steal. Westbrook required season-ending surgery, and Beverley received all manner of Internet abuse from Thunder fans, including a couple of death threats from a Twitter account linked to an Oklahoma City ball boy.

Could be worse

Beverley, though, is made of sterner stuff.

The Chicago native was drafted out of Arkansas by the Lakers in 2009 but played in Europe from 2008-12 for teams in Ukraine, Greece and Russia, where fans have considerably more leeway to harass visiting team players than in comparatively sedate NBA arenas.

“It’s going to be fun,” he said. “I’m looking forward to all the boos and stuff. I understand the crowd is going to be amped up, and I hope that is going to get us that more focused.
“Every time you catch the ball, you’re going to hear boos, so at least I get to release some of the pressure off (Rockets teammate and former Thunder guard James Harden).”

Beverley said Greek fans were prone to abusive behavior, and Russia-Turkey games were magnets for rowdy fans.

“It’s pretty (much) worse over there, but I’ve got a feeling it’s going to be pretty bad (in Oklahoma City),” he said.

But it’s not likely to be historically chaotic along the lines of the famous McHale-Kurt Rambis clotheslining incident during Game 4 of the 1984 NBA Finals at the Forum in Inglewood, Calif., where McHale and the Celtics were most unwelcome guests.

McHale, however, downplayed the impact that visiting fans had on his play during his Hall of Fame career.

“I didn’t care. I was so far from that,” McHale said. “In every arena that we went to that wasn’t the Boston arena, I could care less what they thought. As Bill said, if they’re cheering you when you go on the road, you’re doing something wrong. They should dislike you.”