Count Michael Beasley among those who was a bit taken aback at the way the summer played out.
In an interview with Leo Sepkowitz of Bleacher Report that ran on Thursday, the new Los Angeles Lakers forward indicated that he was surprised at LeBron James’ decision to sign with the team.
“A little piece of me didn’t think he’d leave Cleveland,” said Beasley. “But every time I make a [prediction] like that, it’s always the opposite. I didn’t think he was gonna leave Cleveland, so I knew he was gonna leave Cleveland. I 100 percent didn’t think L.A.
“I thought the Philly situation made sense,” he added. “Teams that already had things in place to win the championship made sense. But when you listen to him speak and watch him play and watch how every team he brought to the Finals was all him making the situation 100 times better, it makes sense now.”
Beasley also said that he originally crossed the Lakers off as a destination for himself after James joined but that his agent “had something up his sleeve.”
The two were previously teammates on the Miami Heat in the 2013-14 season, making the NBA Finals together. They definitely had their ups and downs during that time, and now we can look forward to Round 2 in Los Angeles.
The Los Angeles Lakers’ wild and crazy summer continues.
ESPN’s Chris Haynes reported Friday that free agent forward Michael Beasley has agreed to a deal with the Lakers. The deal is for one year and $3.5 million.
Sources: It’s a one-year, $3.5 million deal. https://t.co/jnOE9JOUPw
— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) July 20, 2018
Beasley, 29, averaged a solid 13.2 points in 22.3 minutes per game for the New York Knicks last season. He previously played with LeBron James on the Miami Heat during the 2013-14 season and often earned The King’s ire.
The former No. 2 overall pick should be able to provide instant offense off the bench for the Lakers. However, he will be yet another oddball character in the locker room to go along with the team’s signings of Lance Stephenson, JaVale McGee, and Rajon Rondo in addition to James this offseason.
Erik Spoelstra doesn’t appear to be too riled up over his former player Michael Beasley’s recent comments about him.
Speaking on Friday before a game against Beasley’s New York Knicks, the Miami Heat coach responded to the shots that the former No. 2 pick took at him this week. Here is what he said, per Manny Navarro of the Miami Herald:
Spoelstra on Michael Beasley's criticism of him: "Jeez Beas you threw me under the bus man. We all root for Michael. He's one of the guys you like having around."
— Manny Navarro (@Manny_Navarro) January 5, 2018
Spoelstra also added this, according to Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel:
Spoelstra, on Beasley comments, "It's all good. I probably was crazy the first couple of years I was coaching."
— Ira Winderman (@IraHeatBeat) January 5, 2018
Earlier this week, Beasley, who played with the Heat for four total seasons, criticized Spoelstra for not believing in him enough during his Miami days. You can read the veteran forward’s full remarks here.
Indeed, Beasley’s first two seasons in Miami coincided with Spoelstra’s first two seasons as head coach. Since then however, Spoelstra has won two titles and become one of the most respected and longest-tenured coaches in the NBA, while Beasley is now at his tenth pro stop in just eight years. That may help explain the difference in their respective comments towards each other.
Michael Beasley has a bit of a bone to pick with the team that drafted him.
In an interview with the New York Post’s Marc Berman that ran Thursday, the veteran forward took shots at the Miami Heat and his ex-coach Erik Spoelstra.
“I feel I could’ve gotten more out of that organization,” said Beasley. “I feel Spo could have believed in me a lot more than he did. It’s in the past. [There’s] no love lost.
“There’s a lot of guys who didn’t play defense,” he continued, hinting that Spoelstra would single him out for his poor defensive play. “When the game is over and it’s 4-2 at the final buzzer, then you can hold one person accountable for the defense. When teams [are] scoring 100 points a game…”
Beasley did speak highly of Heat president Pat Riley, however, saying of Riley, “He’s a Hall of Famer — one of my favorite people in the world. He helped me in life.” But the 28-year-old did add that Riley “might owe me some things.”
Beasley was drafted by the Heat with the No. 2 overall pick in the loaded 2008 draft, ahead of the likes of Russell Westbrook and Kevin Love. Unfortunately, he failed to meet expectations in South Beach and was gone by the time The Big Three era kicked off in 2010 (though he did return to Miami for two subsequent stints in the 2013-14 season and again in the 2014-15 season).
Granted, the former Kansas State star has somewhat redeemed himself with the New York Knicks this season, averaging 11.7 points and 4.8 rebounds in just 18.5 minutes per game. But you can be the judge of whether Beasley’s struggles in Miami were the result of Spoelstra’s coaching or his own doing.
Don’t ever let anyone tell you that Michael Beasley is not a fan favorite.
The former No. 2 pick received MVP chants from the New York Knicks fans in attendance for Thursday night’s game against the Boston Celtics at Madison Square Garden. Take a look:
YOU AINT DREAMIN THOSE ARE INDEED MICHAEL BEASLEY MVP CHANTS pic.twitter.com/gA7on4CgTQ
— Rob Perez (@World_Wide_Wob) December 22, 2017
In a game where Kristaps Porzingis was benched amid an 0-for-11 shooting night, it was Beasley who stepped in and took over. Beasley was dominant in the second half and established a season high for points.
Beasley has been on a great stretch lately for the Knicks. He scored 23 and 30 points in the team’s two previous games. He entered Thursday’s game averaging over 15 points on 51.4 percent shooting for the month of December.
Michael Beasley does a lot of thinking about a lot of interesting things, man.
For evidence of that, look no further that a conversation he had with SNY’s Taylor Rooks for her podcast “Timeout with Taylor Rooks” this week. It has been said that humans are only capable of using 10 percent of their brains at any given moment. That is a topic that has been widely debated, but never in quite the same fashion that Beasley debated it with Rooks.
Since we can’t really explain Beasley’s theory about the human brain as well as he can (or at all, for that matter), here’s the clip:
— Taylor Rooks (@TaylorRooks) September 26, 2017
As you might imagine, the entire podcast is worth listening to.
Now, remember, this is the same Michael Beasley that once needed medical treatment after punching himself in the head during a game. He also has a long history with the reefer, which fans have enjoyed reminding him of.
All that said, maybe Michael is onto something. Since I’m fairly confident I’m one of those people that can only use 10 percent of his brain, I wouldn’t really know.
H/T LBS reader Scott C.
Michael Beasley has some high hopes for the coming season in New York.
On Tuesday, Beasley called Carmelo Anthony a mentor and a best friend and said that he is looking forward to playing with the 10-time All-Star forward, per Al Iannazzone of Newsday. Beasley also went on to say that he believes the Knicks can be a playoff team in the 5-to-6-seed range.
New Knick Michael Beasley says Carmelo Anthony is a mentor and one of his best friends. He says he looks forward to playing with Melo.
— Al Iannazzone (@Al_Iannazzone) September 19, 2017
Beasley said with him, Melo, KP and Hardaway, they have the makings of not only a playoff team but they can be a 5 or 6 seed.
— Al Iannazzone (@Al_Iannazzone) September 19, 2017
Beasley, who agreed to a one-year deal with the Knicks in August, is probably a little ambitious on both fronts. The Knicks finished 31-51 last season, their fourth consecutive one missing the playoffs, and Anthony still seems likely to be traded. But the East will probably be even more rancid this season, and there are some subtle signs that Anthony remains committed to the team as training camp nears. As for Beasley, we already know he’s all-in on the Knicks, and the irrational confidence here is certainly true to character for him.