In a long-ranging interview with HoopsHype's Michael Scotto, former NBA veteran Michael Beasley opened up to about his career and the inability to get the opportunity he deserves in the league to showcase his talent and the fact he is a valuable player.
Beasley feels misunderstood
When Michael Beasley was drafted as the second pick behind Derrick Rose in the 2008 NBA Draft, everyone expected big things from him early on in his career. Even though he had a solid two first seasons in the NBA, the Heat decided to trade him, and ever since then, he was bouncing around the NBA, not able to find a team that would be interested in his services on a long-term basis.
There was also a lot of prejudice towards him, where people would disrespect him or call him a bust. In a recent interview for HoopsHype, he talked about his playing career and how he was never given a real chance to showcase his talent in the same way some other players got the right opportunity and were able to flourish and make a name for themselves.
“Honestly speaking, I think people don’t disrespect, but overlook what I’ve been able to do in the amount of time I’ve been able to do it in," Beasley said. "If you look at my per-36 numbers for every team, they’re All-Star caliber numbers (19.6 points, 7.4 rebounds, 2.0 assists). My argument for my career is I’ve never been given a chance to play extra minutes.”
Playing through a family crisis
Beasley opened up about his family situation, which is probably unknown to many people, where his mom passed away when he was with the Lakers. He talked about the scrutiny he received from everyone even though they weren’t fully aware of the personal hell he was going through at that specific time.
“Off the court, my mom died when I was playing for the Lakers. I fought through that, and I came back. My cousin died the game I forgot my shorts in Oklahoma. I was battling that day, trying to fight through it. I wanted to go to the funeral, but I was already gone when my mom died. I just wanted to be there for the team, and the whole world just laughed at me," Beasley said.
"My whole career, I’ve never been given a chance to show who I really am, how I can really play, show that I can really win and be somebody. The whole world laughed at me. It hurt my feelings. I’m not going to lie.”
Many people wouldn’t be able to handle that personally as well as he did, which is something he wants the public to know. He was going through tough times when his mom passed away, but he didn’t want to tell that to anyone or make people feel bad for him. Beasley didn’t care about all jokes people made about him or his NBA career and wanted to stay away from it as much as possible.
“I don’t like pity. My mom was going through cancer, maybe a year before she told the family. She was being strong. I was trying to be strong. I was trying to show her I could be tough. That ѕhit was hard. I’m not going to lie. When it happened, it felt like an excuse," Beasley admitted.
"That’s why I never said anything. I thought it would die over (referring to the jokes about forgetting his shorts). That shit didn’t die. Every f*cking year that ѕhit lived on. Even my close friends don’t even know. I let them have the joke because if it makes people happy, it makes people happy, rather than going around and making people sad.”
Beasley is still eyeing a comeback to the NBA, and this summer he played out for the Portland Trail Blazers in the NBA Summer League. Unfortunately, he didn’t receive a contract, so he took his talents to the Puerto Rican league, where he now plays for the Cangrejeros de Santurce. Beasley is still hoping to play in the NBA and believes he can help teams with his talent, skillset, and experience. Whether that will happen or not remains to be seen, but there is no question Beasley is one of the most misunderstood NBA players in recent years.
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