Michael Beasley is working on a transformation. Of himself, of his image.
It’s going to take a lot of work. And a lot of time. He was arrested this summer for marijuana possession and pushed a guy in the face in a New York street ball game, two things that didn’t help the cause.
But he is trying. He put together a charity game to be played in Minnesota this weekend, to benefit St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital. It’s a game that will feature a number of Timberwolves and other NBA players putting on a show for fans. (Some of the biggest names — Kevin Love, Kevin Durant, John Wall — pulled out last minute on him, right after an international barnstorming tour was announced. Coincidence?)
And then there are the other things he is doing to rehab his image, from the Star-Tribune:
He has also taken up ballet to transform his body and hired a public- relations agency to improve his image.
“I want everyone to know that I’m not this monster that they perceive,” he said. “I’m a really nice guy….”
He has played with childhood pal Durant and Wall in exhibition games across the country and also has incorporated elements of yoga, karate and, yes, ballet into summer workouts intended to make his body stronger, more limber and help ensure a long, productive career. He has dropped about 15 pounds after playing last season at 240 pounds.
Beasley is not a monster. In a world all too full of real atrocities, Beasley’s transgressions are minor.
But I saw Beasley play in person this summer, and the disinterested, flat play that has been at the core of his image problems was out in full force. Beasley has been gifted with a body to play NBA basketball and do it well, but what really kills his image is that he seems to not care. He squanders that gift. For fans who did not win the genetic lottery and had no chance to play in the NBA, that attitude is what is unforgivable.
We want to see the passion and dedication on the court, every night. Not just be told its there by a PR firm.
Lou Williams is having a career year. He’s done everything for the ailing Los Angeles Clippers, who have turned things around and are battling for the No. 8 seed in the West.
Likewise, Andre Drummond is having a statistically important year for the Detroit Pistons as he leads the league in rebounding and in defensive box plus/minus.
Needless to say, both of them had a strong case to make the 2018 NBA All-Star Game. The only problem is that neither of them did.
That had both Williams and Drummond speaking their minds on Twitter on Tuesday, letting fans know what they thought about their snubs.
Warning: NSFW language ahead.
Who should have been left off the East and West teams in voting, respectively, to make room for Williams and Drummond? No doubt this will be some topic of discussion for years to come as both players use it as fuel for the rest of the season.
Last week the All-Star Game starters were announced, and a few players felt burned by the selections.
Now the reserves have been announced, and the real snubs happen.
As a reminder, the NBA is trying to inject some life into this staid event by having LeBron James and Stephen Curry — the top vote-getters in each conference by the fans — named captains who will pick the All-Star teams. Playground style. Just one after the other, whoever they want from either conference (but not televised… boo), first from the pool of other starters selected by fans, media, and current players, then from the list of reserves selected by the coaches (those coaches had to choose two backcourt players, three frontcourt players and two wild-cards for each conference). Curry and LeBron can pick anyone — if Lebron wants to choose James Harden, he can.
Here are who the coaches chose to round out the rosters:
The Warriors become the first team to have four All-Stars in consecutive years.
There are four first-time All-Stars in there: Towns, Beal, Oladipo, and Porzingis.
So who got snubbed? The West was so deep there was just no way to get all the deserving guys in, but the biggest snubs are the Clippers’ Lou Williams (he has carried that team), Chris Paul of the Rockets (probably due to missed time), and the Thunder’s Paul George. Out East Andre Drummond was just off the board, as were Goran Dragic and Ben Simmons.
Just as a reminder, the starters are, from the West, Stephen Curry, James Harden, Kevin Durant, Anthony Davis, DeMarcus Cousins; and from the East Kyrie Irving, DeMar DeRozan, LeBron James, Giannis Antetokounmpo, and Joel Embiid.
The All-Star Game is Feb. 18 from the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Does Kobe Bryant need another trophy? He might get one – at the Oscars.
Bryant, the retired Los Angeles Lakers star, was nominated in the animated short category for “Dear Basketball,” based on a poem he wrote in 2015 announcing his impending retirement from basketball. He was nominated along with veteran Disney animator Glen Keane.
Bryant’s poem begins: “Dear Basketball, from the moment I started rolling my dad’s tube socks, and shooting imaginary game-winning shots in the Great Western Forum, I knew one thing was real: I fell in love with you.”
It reflects on how time is running out. “I can’t love you obsessively for much longer,” it says. “This season is all I have left to give. My heart can take the pounding, my mind can handle the grind. But my body knows it’s time to say goodbye.”
It ends by counting down the final five seconds on a game clock:
Bryant, 39, a five-time NBA champion, played 20 seasons with the Lakers before retiring last year.
The Cleveland Cavaliers are going to make moves at the deadline — they have surveyed the landscape and realize they may need help just to get out of the East this season, forget about the Warriors (or even Rockets).
It’s been reported before that Sacramento guard George Hill is of interest to Cleveland. The Cavs could use guard help — they have Isaiah Thomas at the point, and a combination of Dwyane Wade (really a three), Iman Shumpert (injured) and the starter J.R. Smith at the two. Hill is a defensive upgrade, can play some backup point guard, and generally give them solid minutes when healthy.
Which is why the sides are still talking, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.
Channing Frye and Shumpert straight up for Hill works as a legal trade. It also works for the Cavaliers, as Frye and Shumpert are not part of the rotation. But adding another older player (31) who has an injury history (he hasn’t played even 50 games the past two seasons) to this roster comes with a lot of risks. Is it really worth that for Cleveland? This is not a deal that changes things much, it’s just a better fit for the Cavs.
It’s less of a good deal for the Kings, who want a deal that is about how it helps them two or three years from now as they rebuild. The only advantage Shumpert and Frye give the Kings is their contracts are shorter — Frye is a free agent next summer, Shumpert has a player option at $11 million for next season, while Hill has two more years after this one on his contract. However, neither player would be part of the Kings’ long-term plans, so the Kings likely want a pick or something else in this deal to make it work for them.
The Cavaliers are going to do something at the deadline. What remains to be seen. While there may be trades that help them get out of the East, there isn’t anyone available who solves their Warriors problems, and if they can’t get that it’s hard to imagine them throwing in the Brooklyn pick in a trade (their biggest chip). The moves will be smaller, not grand ones.