Michael Beasley has been getting ready for what he wants to be a redemption season. After struggling at every stop to live up to expectations or be efficient in his scoring, he is going to a Suns team that will need his points.
Every player says they are working out hard right now to be ready for training camp, and by all accounts Beasley had. But this note from Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic caught my eye.
Beasley has been working out with his mentor and personal trainer, former NBA guard Norm Nixon, in Los Angeles. Some onlookers have said that Beasley was the recent star of some traditional summer pro pickup games at UCLA.
Norm Nixon? He was the former Lakers point guard pushed aside so some guy named Magic Johnson could have the rock more, but he was a two time All-Star, two-time World Champ with the Lakers and most recently one of the studio show analysts for Clippers games (the other team he played for in the NBA).
Nixon was very professional as a ball player, and apparently he has taken Beasley under his wing, Coro reported earlier this summer.
It would not be the image of Beasley taking a stretching exercise class at Nixon’s Debbie Allen Dance Academy this morning in Los Angeles. His missteps are scenes far removed from how Nixon has become like a father to Beasley in the past year, taking him to his first plays, working him out and arranging trips they will take together to England and China.
It’s an interesting plan, to give Beasley structure and expose him to ideas, then see if he grows and matures. The question has never been Beasley’s talent, it was his passion and work ethic.
It’s that talent that makes Beasley a good gamble for the Suns (even at three years, $18 million total). But if he really matures under Nixon, that would be a steal.