According to a release via The Associated Press, Phoenix Suns forward Michael Beasley has been arrested on drug-related citations. Beasley was arrested during a traffic stop by officer David Pubins, and the forward is now being investigated on separate felony counts of marijuana and drug paraphernalia possession.
If he hopes to continue his NBA career, Beasley must use this arrest as a wake-up call.
This isn't the first time we've heard of Beasley's troubles with marijuana, as he was ticketed for possession in July of 2011, per The Associated Press. Beasley was also fined $50,000 for a drug-related offense in 2008, as reported by ESPN.
To cap it all off, Beasley was investigated on sexual assault allegations as recently as May of 2013, per ABC 15.
This is not a witch hunt, nor is it an article dedicated to the war on drugs. Instead, this an acknowledgement of the fact that there are rules in place, and as an NBA player and American citizen, it is Beasley's responsibility to abide by them.
The latest infraction not only puts Beasley in harm's way, but it jeopardizes the future of his career.
Promising to Stop
The Suns shocked the world during the summer of 2012, signing an embattled Beasley to a contract worth $18.0 million over three seasons. This may not seem like a tremendous risk, with $11.75 million guaranteed, but Beasley appeared to be on a steep decline.
The year prior, Beasley had averaged career lows in points, rebounds, assists, blocks, steals and field-goal percentage. To be fair, he was relegated to the bench more often than one might assume, especially after breaking out in 2010-11.
With that being said, his contract with Phoenix was a far way removed from the 2010-11 season in which he averaged 19.2 points and 5.6 rebounds on a slash line of .450/.366/.753—numbers that are important to remember.
Clearly, the Suns believed that, with a relatively low-risk deal, they could be the team to facilitate Beasley's return to the path to stardom. That level of excitement was elevated once Beasley made comments regarding his future.
Per ESPN, Beasley claimed that his issues with marijuana were behind him.
"I realize 10 minutes of feeling good is not really worth putting my life and my career and my legacy in jeopardy," he said, "so I'm confident to say that part of my career, that part of my life, is over and won't be coming back."
"I've really realized my potential," Beasley said. "I've really realized what I can do."
After a turbulent 2012-13 campaign, it appears as if Beasley has lost sight of his potential, once again.
Beasley posted career-low numbers in scoring, rebounding and field-goal percentage at a dismal 40.5 percent. With that being said, he'd also begun to show signs of promise, topping 20 points 11 times during the final three-and-a-half-months of the season.
And then this happened.
Young Enough to Recover
Beasley was a college basketball superstar, averaging 26.2 points and 12.4 rebounds on a slash line of .532/.379/.774. He was the Big 12 Player and NCAA Freshman of the Year, earned unanimous first-team All-American honors and proceeded to go No. 2 overall in the 2008 NBA draft.
It may seem like an eternity ago that Beasley was drafted, but here are the facts—he's still a 24-year-old small forward that stands at 6'10" with a dynamic skill set and NBA-caliber athleticism.
Should the NBA suspend Michael Beasley?
If it's ever to click for Beasley, there's a legitimate possibility that he turns things around and discovers his upside. At 24, he's still roughly three seasons away from entering his prime, which suggests that the best has yet to come.
That's a scary thought considering he averaged 19.2 points on a slash line of .450/.366/.753 at 22 years old.
With that being said, Beasley doesn't have any more time to waste, as he must commit to his craft right now. The Suns owe Beasley $6.0 million in 2013-14, but the $6.25 million in 2014-15 is non-guaranteed.
In other words, Beasley could play himself right out of the most money he's seen from a team at this stage of his career.
Fortunately, Beasley is young enough to right his wrongs, dedicate himself to his craft and become a star. Unfortunately, actions like this offer a major push in the wrong direction and could contribute to Beasley's career ending prematurely.
All we can do is hope that Beasley cleans up before it's too late.