In the 2008 NBA Draft, many wondered what the Chicago Bulls would do with the first pick of the draft. The team was in need of a post threat at that time and many thought they would take the uber-talented forward out of Kansas State, Michael Beasley. He could score in the post, had a solid midrange jump shot and he also had three-point range. He could do almost anything he wanted on the court and had the handles to make it happen as well. But instead of taking him with the 1st pick that season, the Bulls decided they would take Memphis point guard Derrick Rose. The hometown kid became the 1st pick for a franchise he grew up watching. As for Beasley, his star-crossed career began in Miami. The talented big man was thought to be a permanent staple as a sidekick to Dwyane Wade. But unfortunately, he ended up being a player that would have glimpses of great play and then moments of disappointment. Beasley could never hone into consistently producing like his talent said he could. And just like that, the star power that many thought Beasley had would began to wane as time would go by. He was eventually shipped out of town as the Heat traded him to form the trio of Chris Bosh, LeBron James and Dwyane Wade for a championship run.
Beasley would go on to have more inconsistent stops with the Minnesota Timberwolves, where Miami traded him, as well as the Phoenix Suns and the Miami Heat again after his contract was terminated in Phoenix after an incident off the court. After last season, he was not looked at by anyone. Surely someone would take a chance on the now 26 year old forward who was still as talented as when he first came in the NBA. Beasley would sign with the Memphis Grizzlies, but he would leave the team and head to China and sign with Yao Ming’s Shanghai Sharks. There Beasley would play and play well, but he knew he longed for another shot in the NBA. And on February 26th, he got a chance again to revive his career in the NBA. The Heat signed Beasley to a 10 day contract. And he again got another chance to make it happen. When asked about the opportunity, Beasley said: “ I’m definitely blessed and humbled to have another opportunity.” And with that comment, you can definitely understand what Beasley may be feeling with this third chance with the Heat. After they did not re-sign him following their playoff loss to the San Antonio Spurs in the NBA Finals, they ended up coming back to him when the injuries mounted and pieces did not pan out the way they thought they would. And now Beasley is in position to make a difference in Miami while realizing that this could be his last chance.
Beasley has not been getting the regular minutes off the bench for Miami. In fact, he has had times where he does not play and other times where he has a hot streak like he did versus the Chicago Bulls in the first half Thursday night (13 points in the half). But what you can tell is he is doing some things that he had not done earlier in his career. Beasley is bringing it a little bit more on the defensive end of the court. You can see him actually in a stance these days, trying his best to defend his position as well as help his teammates. Earlier in his career, you would see Beasley sauntering down the court after making a play or giving up on closing out to a shooter. Another thing that you can notice differently is Beasley being more within himself while on the team. He has emotion, but he also is not causing disturbances and being difficult as he can be provided his past. He is pretty much a guy that knows time is running out on his career. No longer is he the guy that teams will be lining up to try and resurrect. He know is the guy that teams are beginning to give up hope on and he knows he has to remake his image in that aspect or risk no longer be a viable option in the NBA.
Who would have thought that a guy as talented as Beasley would be barely hanging on in the NBA? He is playing well when he gets his opportunities to contribute. But unfortunately he is still inconsistent at times. Even with that, you can realize that something is different though for Beasley this time around. And for his sake, hopefully he showed enough restraint and poise along with ability this time around. Michael Beasley is a very talented player and should be in the NBA. And at 26 years old, he still could have much to offer. It seems like this time around he is trying to actually help himself more than any time before. And in turn he tried to help Miami in whatever way he could. It looks like something is clicking mentally for Beasley despite the inconsistencies on the court. Hopefully that maturity can be something that can help him be on someone’s roster if he is not in Miami next season. But if he is not on a roster next season, he cannot do anything but blame himself. He set the precedent with his past and now that past continues to haunt him like a ghost. But hopefully with his showings in Miami, he squelched some of those memories and made teams more comfortable with him.