Only two years after Michael Beasley was drafted with the 2nd overall pick in the 2009 NBA Draft, the Miami Heat had trouble giving him away. Eventually, the Heat managed to unload Beasley on the Minnesota Timberwolves, but they only got two second-round picks in exchange for the former Kansas State star.
Why has Beasley been such a flop over his first two pro seasons? Is it because he’s a tweener, stuck between the three and the four? Is it because he’s never shown any particular interest in playing defense? Is it because he’s never extended his range to the NBA three-point line or committed himself to being a low-post player?
All of those are possible reasons why Beasley hasn’t lived up to his billing as a top-two pick yet. But for what it’s worth, Beasley’s new general manager thinks that the first step to Beasley’s turnaround has already been taken.
In an interview with ESPN 1500 Twin Cities, David Kahn explained that Beasley’s marijuana habit held him back in the early stage of his career. Beasley never formally admitted to smoking weed, but there was widespread speculation about his drug use after he was caught on film near marijuana not once but twice
before he started his sophomore season. Now Beasley has assured Kahn that he doesn’t smoke anymore, which makes Kahn optimistic about Beasley’s future:
“He’s a very young and immature kid who smoked too much marijuana and has told me that he’s not smoking anymore, and I told him that I would trust him as long as that was the case,” Kahn said Thursday during an interview with 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.
“He has developed a really good support system around him this past season in Miami. He’s hired people to help him grow up. He is growing up — he’s not grown up. He’s 21 … and he just turned 21 last January, and if you think back, as I do all the time, to when I was 21 and if you had given me this kind of money and put me in this kind of world with these kinds of pressures attached to it and some of the demands, I don’t know (that) I would have handled it any easier than, say, he has.”
Kahn went on to say that Beasley had a “very issue-free” season in Miami, and that he felt that trading Beasley for two second-round draft picks was a risk well worth taking. Beasley’s immaturity certainly didn’t help him over the course of his first two years in the league; if he really has turned a new leaf off the court, perhaps he’ll start to live up to his potential on it.
Steven Adams is one of the NBA’s toughest players.
But that didn’t stop a Nuggets fan from heckling the Thunder center during Denver’s win Friday.
Adams stepped toward the fan and yelled, to the point a referee restrained him. Russell Westbrook – who lost his temper later in the game – also yelled at the fan.
It’s hard to hear exactly what Adams and Westbrook said. But it sounds profane enough both players could get fined.
No. 2 pick Marvin Bagley has been solid for the Kings.
No. 3 pick Luka Doncic has been even better for the Mavericks.
Doncic had 28 points and nine assists against Sacramento yesterday. Though the Kings won, questions have still swirled about why they didn’t just draft Doncic. Sacramento coach Dave Joerger even weighed in on the rookie.
Joerger, via James Ham of NBC Sports California:
“Perhaps there was an idea that there was a ceiling on him – I don’t see it, unfortunately for us,” Joerger said. “He’s great for them and he’s great for our league.”
Coaches commonly praise a young opponent then add a variation of “unfortunately for us” – as in, unfortunately we’ll have to play against him for many years.
But it’s easy to infer deeper significance here.
The Kings seemingly drafted Bagley for bad reasons – i.e., his desire to go to Sacramento. Doncic looked like the better prospect. But Kings assistant general manager Brandon Williams helped steer the team toward Bagley. When Joerger played veteran Nemanja Bjelica over Williams-preferred Bagley, that caused drama earlier this season. The Williams-Joerger rift apparently continued, too.
So, Joerger’s remarks could have been a thinly veiled shot at Sacramento’s front office. Maybe the coach didn’t intended it that way, but it wouldn’t be a huge leap.
Knicks owner James Dolan is widely regarded as one of the worst owners in sports.
He’s also defiantly himself.
That came through in a lengthy profile by Ian O’Connor of ESPN. Dolan is still defending his organization after losing a sexual-harassment lawsuit. Dolan is still blaming Charles Oakley for an ejection from Madison Square Garden last year. Dolan is still trying to contextualize his relationship with Harvey Weinstein.
But Dolan won’t concede one eye-opening claim.
Jim is the owner who years ago, on occasion, would play his guitar on the Knicks’ team plane — even after losses, according to several witnesses. “It was the last thing the players and coaches wanted to hear,” says one regular on those flights. “I just remember the looks on their faces.” (Dolan denies this claim and calls it “somebody’s fantasy.”)
Dolan has made a lot of enemies over the years. It wouldn’t be shocking if one made up a story to make him look bad and others corroborated it for the same reason.
Because it’s quite believable.
Dolan is more passionate about his music than owning the Knicks. This also wouldn’t be the first time he subjected players to his musical interest.
Occam’s razor suggests Dolan did this rather than a conspiracy existing to frame him. Besides, believing he did it is way more fun.
With D’Angelo Harris to his left, Rondae Hollins-Jefferson to his right, Joe Harris trailing and only Hawks in front of him, Nets rookie Rodions Kurucs passed ahead. Confidently. That was a bullet.
But to nobody – except maybe the referee. It looked high for the ref, though maybe an NBA player would have snagged the throw.
At Brooklyn still beat Atlanta, 144-127.