Michael Beasley: “Talent-wise, I match up with Kevin [Durant], LeBron”

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Michael Beasley has never lacked for confidence.

The No. 2 pick in the 2008 draft also never lacked for a scoring touch, and that gets you a lot of chances in the NBA. Beasley has had his share of off the court problems — actually, his share and a couple other players’ shares as well — but he is trying to move on from that. He was solid in the games he played for the Bucks last season, and now he will get the chance in New York to take the next step — he told Yaron Weitzman if the Bleacher Report he just needs an opportunity he felt he hasn’t had in the past.

He said that in about the most Beasley way possible.

“[It’s] mostly perception. As far as talent-wise, I match up with Kevin [Durant], LeBron, I match up with the best guys in the world,” Beasley says. “I’m not being cocky; it’s just always how I felt. But I got into trouble as soon as I got into the NBA, and it left a bad taste in a lot of people’s mouths.”

The off-the-court issues certainly limited interest and opportunities in the past, but no, he’s not on those guys level. We could discuss defense or playmaking differences, but that would be just stating the obvious.

The reality is Beasley has had opportunities before, but he didn’t take advantage of them. He’s said before he was a changed man, and he wasn’t. However, his ability to get buckets got him another chance with Milwaukee last season, and he was good enough and changed enough that New York came calling. Now he gets an opportunity to take the next step.

It’s on Beasley to live up to his words now. Not the “as good as Durant and LeBron” words, but just being a quality NBA rotation player the Knicks can lean on would be a big start.