A storm is brewing in Minneapolis Minnesota.
Not a storm of nature, but instead one of human emotions. Emotions billed up by unjust criticism, self-pride, love of the sport called basketball, and a passion to prove that there is no quit in Minnesota’s newest pup. Enter Michael Beasley, aka “The Great Eight.”
Never in my 20 years of paying attention to what the mass media has put out have I ever witnessed a player scrutinized and ostracized in the fashion that he’s been. If I didn’t watch Beasley play 140-plus games in his two year career, I might be inclined to believe some of the reports about him. Heck, anyone might be ignorant enough to join in on the Bash-Beasley Bandwagon. With all the haters and Wade-obsessing journalists in Miami, it’s rather hard to find a Heat fan that believes Michael Beasley’s stint was anything but a failure.
BEASLEY FEELS SLIGHTED AND WANTS YOU TO KNOW IT
The interview touched on everything from his nickname to his position on his new team. But clearly the highlight of the interview was when Beasley was asked if he would circle the Miami Heat on his Timberwolves calendar. Beasley replied to Jonah Ballow’s question with this honest and confident answer:
“I'm going to put a big circle around the whole NBA. You know I feel like I was counted out you know my first two seasons in the NBA, they might not have been perfect but I'm proud of them. I went to a 15-win team to averaging 45 wins in my short career. So I'm proud of that you know. And I feel like I should get a little more recognition for that but you know it's life. You know I'm just going to come out and show everybody who Michael Beasley really is, I'm going to show them who I am you know the Great 8, the new me.”
The part that took was him stating he feels he deserves a little more recognition for the success of the Heat these past two seasons. This is a far cry from the Michael Beasley that many have come to know over that past two years. Apparently Beasley will no longer accept being blamed for the failures of a team.
Beasley has been a class act in light of how the Miami Heat organization handled his stay and departure. Never once in his two year stint can it be stated that Beasley commented on how he resented how the Heat handled him. All the young man did was take responsibility for not living up to everyone else’s expectation...I can’t emphasize enough the last three words of that statement.
The Heat has never had any issues with his attitude...same can’t be said for Mario Chalmers, Carlos Arroyo, Rafer Alston, and Jermain O’Neal.
Beasley always did what the Heat asked of him.
Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald reported on such matters in January of this year.
The article is highlighted when a Heat Official praised Beasley for his maturity off the court. Go figure.
Even Doc River’s of the Celtics organization commented on Beasley, stating: “More efficient offensively, knows where to get his shots, reading defenses better. When he’s the second or third option on other guy’s plays, he sees the value of setting the right pick and being in the right spot. Defensively, you can see the trust growing. What tremendous growth.”
This is the opinion of a championship head coach, an opinion that differs from the misguided rants of the mass media. I can’t tell you what side of the fence to stand on, but I will tell you that any intelligent person is going to run with the sentiment of Doc Rivers and ignore those of an idiot like Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel.
The article also touched on how Beasley was always a hour and a half early before practice and how he always stayed to put in extra work when practice was over. It also touches base on how he had given up his night life and focused on basketball and being a more family oriented individual, particularly with his two young children.
Even Dwyane Wade commented on Beasley’s pledge to being a better player, teammate and person: “He wants to come in and learn.”
It’s safe to say Beasley hasn't been given a fair shake.
BEASLEY DESERVES CREDIT FOR BEING PART OF THE HEAT'S SUCCESS
If you ask most folks about the Miami Heat these past two seasons, the conversation usually began with how great Dwyane Wade was and how poor a player Beasley was. If you let most of the media tell it, Dwyane Wade averaged 45-plus wins by himself these past two NBA seasons, never mind the fact that all he could muster up was 10 wins in 51 games played prior to Beasley’s arrival in 2008-2009.
So as you can see, the sentiment of Wade winning by himself is just his fans being incredibly idiotic. However, the biggest blame in all this lies with the mass media and the way they have chosen too portray Michael Beasley. They have chosen to paint him in a dark light. They have chosen to ignore all the good he’s done and only emphasize on the not so good. So let’s just do that for a brief moment, mainly because that’s all Beasley affords one to do.
BEASLEY’S TROUBLES IN MIAMI
For a kid that the Heat organization was raving about most of this past season, the media sure had a knack for referring to him as a player with a lot of off court issues. It’s actually quite astonishing what the media can get fans to believe. They actually got the NBA fans to buy into the fact that the second leading scorer for a fifth seeded team, had no positive affect on the winning equation. Just goes to show how far the human intellect has digressed over the past two decades of NBA basketball.
So what exactly is the truth about Beasley’s off the court issues?
First of all, there are only two issues. And none of those issues where any graver than the one that long time fan favorite, Udonis Haslem, finds himself in. But back to Beasley and his many off the court issues.
The first incident was at the rookie symposium. Along with fellow rookie teammate Mario Chalmers, Beasley got in trouble for breaking league rules of having women in a player’s room...never mind the fact that the room belonged to former Kansas players Mario Chalmers and Darrell Arthur. The reports said that the room also smelled of marijuana...but never was marijuana found on any of the players and never were any of the three players penalized for marijuana. Here’s how the Miami Herald stated the incident:
“The second overall pick in the draft—admitted to league officials this week that he was part of the same incident at the symposium earlier this month in Rye Brook, N.Y. that resulted in Heat point guard Mario Chalmers and Memphis Grizzlies forward Darrell Arthur’s expulsion from the program and $20,000 fines.
Beasley received a higher fine because of his failure to cooperate with the league’s investigation into the incident. The league’s investigation had ended but then Beasley opened up about having been, for at least some period, with Chalmers and Arthur in their room, where resort security found two women and detected the smell of marijuana.”
The incident was later followed by some comments that middle-class and upper-class America took as suicide references...never mind the fact that rappers like Tupac Shaker and Eminem have stated worst. Here’s a look at the statement he made threw his Twitter account:
“Y do I feel like the whole world is against me!!!!!! Back on my FTW!!!!! I can’t win for losin!!!!!!!!... “Feelin like it’s not worth livin!!!!!!! I’m done’… ‘not feelin this at all!!!!!!!!”
ESPN had to retract an article about Beasley being caught with marijuana because, like so often they do, they reported something that wasn’t true. But as we all know, once you put something out there, there is virtually no way to get it back.
So basically, Beasley was fit with a label of being a “pot- head” by the media. Yet never once had he ever had any reports of drug abuse in high school or college. Never once had he failed an NBA conducted drug test...NEVER!
The second incident came his sophomore offseason. The issue was about Michael Beasley showing off his newly tattooed back via Twitter. The picture was scrutinized because of a plastic bag sitting on a coffee table in the background. That small plastic baggie looks suspiciously like a bag of marijuana. The picture was far from conclusive and didn't seem like the kind of thing that could draw a NBA suspension or a call from the police. After all, there was no proof of what was in the bag or who the bag belonged to.
How Much Credit Does Beasley Deserve For The Heat's Success Over The Past Two seasons
Not to bring race into it, but Black-America knew exactly what the young man was referencing. We knew that it had nothing to do with his mental state and everything to do with him trying to understand why so many eyes where glued on him. He couldn’t understand why a nation of people were trying to destroy a 20-year-old kid for being the just that...a 20-year-old kid.
From that incident, it was decided by the Heat organization that Beasley check himself into a clinic for depression. Which somehow got Chris Broussard of ESPN reported it as a drug treatment facility. To this day, no one is on record for issuing an apology to Michael Beasley.
Still think the media doesn’t control what you think? Either they do or you have made a conscious decision to dislike the young man. Either way, as a fan, you have no foundation to label him as anything but a success thus far in his career.
THE TRUTH ABOUT THE REAL MICHAEL BEASLEY
So who exactly is the real Michael Beasley? What kind of player and person is the man know mostly as “B-Easy?” What should basketball fans know that isn’t being stated?
First, Beasley is no criminal and unlike his former teammate Udonis Haslem, Beasley has never been arrested for any kind of offense.
Beasley is a 21-year-old young adult. Like most young adults, he wasn’t prepared to handle most of what life had to throw at them. We all should be able to relate to knowing a young adult not doing everything we feel they should be doing...amazing how we live our lives through others.
So why is Beasley being held to a standard like no other of recent precedent? Why does everyone have a hard-on for this kid?
Why is he the bad character when his former teammate, Mario Chalmers, was the one who lost his starting job for showing up late to practice? Yet the media sold the situation as Carlos Arroyo beating out Chalmers for the job...never mind that it was Chalmers often finishing out games alongside Dwyane Wade in the Heat’s backcourt.
Heat head coach Erik Spoeltra even commented on it. “Mario was late for shoot-around,” Spoeltra stated. “My point guard is going to be the example to the team. But we’re moving on. It was a one-time deal.”
Coincidentally, Beasley dominated that game and lead the Heat to win on a night Wade struggled to find his shot.
So as you can see, there are two-side to every story. There’s the truth and then there’s the skewed and self-serving rants of the media.
As fans we should all do better in taking notice of the facts and not being so quick to bite whatever foolish notions that get tossed on our plate.