The former No. 2 overall draft pick signed with the Suns as a free agent and is averaging 11.9 points and 4.2 rebounds per game this season, but he is shooting just 38.9% from the field. The Arizona Republic says he has been benched for the entire fourth quarter in eight of the Suns’ 17 games this season. The reasons range from him playing poor defense, the team winning in a blowout, or another player being hot.
Beasley says he’s willing to sit on the bench, but there’s a condition: the team has to be winning.
“If I’ve got to sit in a trash can at the end of the bench during crunch time for us to win games, then that’s exactly what I’m going to do,” Beasley said after Sunday’s loss to the Knicks, per Paul Coro. “But if we’re not winning games, and I feel like I can contribute, it’s just discouraging. We don’t have problems. I just feel like we could’ve won the game. I feel like I played, not well, but decent and definitely better than how I have been playing.”
Beasley shot 4-for-10 (which sadly actually improved his field goal percentage), for nine points in the 106-99 loss. He also had a minus 20 for the game, which means the Knicks outscored the Suns by 20 in the minutes he played.
Beasley recognizes his defensive shortcomings, but doesn’t think they’re that bad.
“I feel like I’m playing pretty decent defense,” Beasley said. “I’m not grip pliers. I’m not going to clamp, but who does? The NBA is about scoring points. I don’t feel like anyone is playing head and shoulders above me. I feel like I’m getting into my rotations and doing what I’m supposed to do on the defensive end. I don’t feel like I’m that far, or far at all, behind everybody else.”
Beasley’s defensive issues have long been a problem for him (not to mention his repeated boneheadedness), so this is nothing new. He may say he’s willing to sit in a trash can Oscar the Grouch style, but his comments seem to indicate otherwise. At least he provided us with some outstanding photoshop opportunities through his comments.