Phoenix Suns Management Have Tied Their Fortunes to Michael Beasley

Jonathan CullenSenior Writer IFebruary 9, 2013

Beasley is still an enigma five years after entering the NBA.
Beasley is still an enigma five years after entering the NBA.USA TODAY Sports

The contract was controversial when it was first announced by the Phoenix Suns.

Three years and $18 million brought Michael Beasley to the desert. Not a bad contract for Beasley, a player who two teams had already given up on in four years.

That is why this report from The Arizona Republic's Gilbert Romero is so disturbing. It is bad enough that Beasley was driving 71 mph in a 45 mph zone, or that he was driving on a suspended license and carrying a loaded gun without proof of registration.

The most disturbing thing? That the team released a statement saying that Beasley was detained for "infractions" and released by the Scottsdale police. It then goes on to say that the team had talked to Beasley and no further discipline was needed.

It's funny, when former Suns player Jason Richardson got in trouble with the police more than three seasons ago under similar circumstances, the Suns suspend Richardson twice. The first suspension was in February of 2009, and the second time came in August of 2009.

The situations aren't exactly the same, but it is startling the way the organization has dealt so differently with both players.

Maybe it is simply the way former president and CEO Rick Welts and former Suns general manager Steve Kerr dealt with Richardson in comparison to how current Suns president of basketball operations Lon Babby and general manager Lance Blanks deal with Beasley.

Babby recently went on Arizona Sports' KTAR radio and said that the incident was "completely overblown" by the media. Babby seemed unwilling to use the word "arrested," even though the Scottsdale police are stating that Beasley was initially arrested and handcuffed at the scene, then released.

It doesn't reflect well on the current Suns management that they seem to be downplaying the incident.

Are the Suns so concerned about losing Beasley mentally that they are unwilling to be the adults in the room?

Beasley's lack of growth and development in his first season under former head coach Alvin Gentry might have been one of the main reasons why Gentry was let go in January and the Suns moved to the untested Lindsey Hunter for a change of style.

The team has shown a little sign of life since the change in coaches, but the team is still inconsistent, reflected by the 4-6 record under Hunter. Beasley has shown flashes of the player the Suns hope he can become.

Beasley is an extremely talented player who was the second overall selection in the 2008 draft by the Miami Heat. Miami gave up on him after two seasons and traded him to the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Beasley has tons of talent. It is exactly that talent that might cause Babby and Blanks eventually to lose their jobs after this season if things don't start improving.


Information used from ESPN, AZ Central/AZ Republic,, Arizona Sports/Adam Green.