Puff, puff, pass. That’s what two NBA teams have already done with the talented, but troubled Michael Beasley. Now on his third team in only five seasons, Beasley continues to make rookie mistakes.
His rap sheet is as diverse as his game is and he seemingly finds new ways to do the wrong thing. He’s now facing charges for marijuana possession after also being cited in the past for traffic violations and even reportedly being investigated for sexual assault, his name has been associated with bad publicity for the better part of his NBA career.
Through it all, one constant remains and that has been his struggle with marijuana. The list of jokes and memes associated with Beasley and weed rivals the talk of LeBron James and his hairline — they really are too numerous to mention. But this is no laughing matter. The only thing Beasley has been consistent with up to this point in his career has been destructive behavior.
In 2008, when Beasley was asked to leave the NBA rookie orientation after setting off the fire alarm with weed smoke, many thought “okay, just a naïve kid, no big deal.”
When he checked himself into rehab in 2009 after again being caught with weed, the thought process was “he has finally got it, after all the first step is admitting you have a problem.”
Fast forward to August of 2013 and Beasley is still being pulled over with marijuana in his possession. What do we say now?
At just 24 years old, he has time to get his life on track but nobody seems to know if that is something that really interests him. He seems to have a sense of entitlement, which has put a wedge between he and his teammates, as well as the coaches and general managers he has interacted with. Everybody wants to give him a chance because he’s immensely talented. But talent means nothing with the wrong attitude or mindset.
At every stop along his path, there have been reports of laziness, ball-hogging and general disinterest in the team concept. From Dwyane Wade to Kevin Love to Lindsey Hunter… they all wanted to see Beasley progress. As the Sun’s head coach last season, Hunter had to deal with a defiant Beasley who said he had stopped listening to everybody, including his coaches. Hunter wasn’t a good coach for Phoenix but his title alone should have commanded a little more respect than Beasley showed him with those comments.
It has gotten to the point that it’s not even about his contract and how much money he makes. How do the Suns help a young kid get out of his own way and become a responsible man? That really is the first step. He has to grow up mentally in order to realize any success on the court.
Right now, it appears Beasley is a player for which too much has come too fast. The Chicago Bulls could have easily taken him over Derrick Rose as the No. 1 pick in 2008. Nobody really would have blinked an eye. That’s how much talent he has. He was/is supposed to pan out and become a star. The talent is there and the body is able, but the mind just doesn’t appear willing. One would think that after a season where he averaged career-lows in points (10.1) and rebounds (3.6), he would be focused, ready to prove the naysayers wrong. Nope, not Beasley.
Oddly enough, if he were to ever get things right it couldn’t be considered a comeback because he has yet to be good in the first place. Still, the NBA loves stories of bad boys turned good and of players who solve the puzzles of themselves. Beasley can become one or even both of those things. But he has to want it and he has to want it soon. The alternative will have his career wasting away and going up in smoke without many more teams willing to take a hit.
What do you think?
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