As I wandered around Michael Beasley’s estate sale this past August, I could not help but reminisce on his roller coaster two-year pit stop with the Minnesota Timberwolves and how I, for some odd reason, was going to really miss the troubled-yet-elitely-talented forward. One would naturally assume that someone that critically analyzes the Timberwolves on a daily basis would be jumping with joy to see a Western Conference rival overpay for the drug-abusing, underperforming and troubled former number 2 overall draft selection, while ridding the Timberwolves of a negative locker room presence. For some reason that I can not effectively substantiate, there is something about Mike Beas that made me never want to give up on him, even though he surely did not deserve another opportunity to prove himself.
Mr. Beasley is not your ordinary draft bust, and please allow me to elaborate on this assertion. Somewhere between Mike’s dull facial expressions and inappropriate joking around on the bench, from his lazy defense to his irresponsible off the court habits, lies a small part of him that displays to whomever that may be currently watching him what he was supposed to – and still could – be as a basketball player. Although these glimpses have become somewhat rare since his inception into the NBA, diligent Timberwolves fans would contest that they have witnessed on multiple occasions how great of a player Beasley can be. It goes beyond potential – for that is indicatory of development that may occur in the future; I will honestly tell you that if Beas really wants it bad enough, he could be great right NOW. As we witnessed with Mike playing for the Pups, his greatest games were when he attacked the basket and hustled on both ends of the floor (effort), and the majority of his poor performances stemmed from his laziness which usually led to poor shot selection and minimal hustle when rotating on defense. I wholeheartedly believe that at any time Beas wants to be a superstar, he can be a superstar. No offseason training regimen can instill in him an intrinsic fire to become one of the great players in the NBA, and the saddest part of this situation is that the only person that can help Beasley is himself.
As a huge Michael Beasley fan, I will be sporting my Wolves Beasley jersey at the game tonight. I do not agree with the Suns recent comments that Beasley is a “toxic” locker room presence, for I do not believe him to be a cruel man with ill intentions. Unfortunately, the case is instead that he may not have any intentions at all, and he is merely playing basketball just to make ends meet. And while the 23-year-old Beasley has plenty of time to turn his career around, the trends since being drafting into the NBA indicate that the likelihood of him overcoming his problems are diminishing.
Phoenix (11-19) will face a Timberwolves squad (13-13) that is ready to avenge an ugly fourth quarter collapse against the Houston Rockets on Wednesday. Kevin Love will look to right the ship following a tumultuous 3-14 shooting night and Nikola Pekovic is a ready to start after missing the second half of Wednesday’s game due to illness. Tipoff is set for just after 7PM CT, enjoy!