Off-court temptations will forever be an ongoing issue for most NBA players throughout their respective careers. Some players are fully capable of avoiding these temptations, while some others have trouble resisting the urge to involve themselves in negativity. The primary example of this being former No. 2 overall pick, Michael Beasley.
The issues began for Beasley immediately when he, along with two other rookies, violated league policy during the Rookie Transition Program. Beasley allegedly hosted multiple women in his hotel room, which is a violation in and of itself. Additionally, the scent of marijuana was reportedly leaking from Beasley’s room as well, leading to a hefty $20,000 fine. These are certainly some major red flags that one would believe Beasley would learn from, however they were just the beginning of a lengthy history of violations to come.
Overall, Beasley has been caught violating the league’s anti-drug policy a total of four times in his short six-year career. To date, he has only been charged with the possession of marijuana, yet his appearance alone suggested otherwise while he was a member of the Phoenix Suns. There were clearly numerous other issues Beasley had to solve to keep himself from ruining not only his NBA career, but his life as well. Phoenix eventually became so fed up with Beasley’s undisclosed actions that they basically paid him to permanently leave the franchise. That is how poisonous he was to his fellow teammates.
Luckily, the Miami Heat identified Beasley’s well-being was in serious jeopardy, so the organization decided to take a tremendous risk in a successful attempt to get his life back on track. Under the mentorship of savvy veterans, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, Beasley was able to turn things around, avoiding the urges in the party capital of South Beach. When Beasley sparingly received minutes on the floor, he proved he can still score the basketball at a solid rate, dropping a season-high 24 points versus the Houston Rockets.
Although he may never live up to a second-overall draft pick’s expectations, Beasley is still capable of contributing when put into the ideal situation. Signing with the Los Angeles Lakers may be the perfect situation for Beasley to continue his path to remain clean for the remainder of his life. In Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash, the Lakers can provide two of the most respectable players in the entire league who can keep him on the positive path started in Miami. Additionally, he would be presented with the opportunity to receive excessive playing time since the Lakers currently have a serious void at the SF position.
For the veteran’s minimum, Los Angeles would be foolish to not reach out to Beasley’s agent. At this point in time, Wesley Johnson is the assumed starter, which is unacceptable if the Lakers have any desire to become a championship-caliber team in the near future. The team needs as much production as possible to excel in the extremely deep, talented Western Conference stacked with elite players.
Who knows, if Beasley can prove himself to the banner franchise, he can potentially convince management of his worthiness to receive a long-term contract once again. Until then though, he must remain on track and select a franchise that will support him along the way.