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The Beasley Burden

Figuring out whether Derrick Rose or Michael Beasley should be the No. 1 pick is tough. But figuring out Michael Beasley all by himself might be even tougher.

Beasley2 And that just might be the most difficult task Heat president Pat Riley faces if things go according to most expectations, with Rose appearing more and more likely a lock to go the Chicago Bulls as the No. 1 pick. Which, of course, would leave Beasley in Riley's lap at No. 2.

There's plenty to like about Beasley, whose 26.2 points per game ranked third in the country last season while his 12.4 rebounds a game led the nation. There are just as many things about Beasley that will leave you scratching your head, wondering, "Did he just really say - or do - that?" The late author Claude Brown didn't exactly have Beasley in mind when he wrote his most famous book, but the former Kansas State power forward is clearly a Manchild entering the Promised Land.

He's clearly mannish in some ways, childish in others. And he embraces both parts of his persona. The best and worst of Beasley's personality was on display during Thursday's Pre-Draft Camp media session.

The same player who considers himself 30 years old in basketball maturity admits he's every bit as immature a 19-year-old as they come. You have to wonder if the same player who has the potential to become the next Charles Barkley has truly learned from his Dennis The Menace past. The same Beasley who scores and rebounds as easily as most folks walk and talk is the same Beasley who is only a year removed from many of the silly antics that got him kicked out of several high schools.

Beasley is many things. An enigma mostly. But consider this: He is just what the NBA has created in its obsession with placing more value on a kid's basketball potential than his quality person potential. The same media circus that covers his quest to become the No. 1 pick also questions why he can be so young and stupid sometimes with his antics.

Beasley was brutally honest and candid when he answered on Thursday. That set him apart from the others he shared the room with. But he didn't necessarily erase any concerns Pat Riley or John Paxson might have about turning their respective franchises over to him from a maturity standpoint.

"I just turned 19 years old in January," Beasley said. "How mature do you want me to be? I’m still a kid. I’m not 20 yet. I’m not legal. I can vote, but that’s about it. On the basketball side of things, I’m 30 years old. Off the court, I don’t know how old y’all want me to be. Do you want me to act 25? 30? 40?. I’m 19. I’m a kid. I’m going to live my life. I’m going to mess up. I don’t know as much as you do or him. I’m learning day by day. I hear a lot about character issues. But I’ve yet to hear what those character issues are. Until I hear somebody tell me, I don’t feel the need to change."

When a Chicago reporter asked what influence his mother has had on him, what advice she's given him about maturity and growing up, Beasley quickly turned the question around and tossed it back.

"Life lessons," he shot back, defensively. "The same kind of lessons your mother taught you. I got into trouble. But I don't do those things anymore. You learn a lot as you grow."

You can't blame Beasley for being a kid, playing a kid's game and wanting to have fun at this point in Rileycook_2 his life. He's a college freshman. But you also can't blame Riley if he's seriously considering parting with this pick for veteran help and another pick later in the draft. The Heat is already battling maturity issues with Dorell Wright and Daequan Cook. Winning games is hard enough when it doesn't come with the added responsibility of grooming character along the way. But that's the NBA today.

Beasley was asked what he would tell Riley during his Miami visit once the subject turned to maturity and some of his immature antics of the past. He said he'd talk about the present and future.

"I’m going to show them me," Beasley said. "Show them that I’m relentless. That I work hard. That I’m a great player, I guess. I’m going to just go out and play. If he likes what he sees, he likes what he sees. If he don’t, I’m all right."

Beasley is many things. His own man - or manchild - among them.


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//Michael Wallace - But you also can't blame Riley if he's seriously considering parting with this pick for veteran help and another pick later in the draft. The Heat is already battling maturity issues with Dorell Wright and Daequan Cook.//

good point re cook and wright. but even cook and wright at their imagined worst seem more grounded than the would-be peter pan who literally wants it both ways --

//Beasley - "[My mom is] Batman and I'm Robin," Beasley said. "I like getting in trouble and letting her fix it. At the same time, I want to grow up, and that's hard to do with her by my side. I think maybe I need to be Batman a little more."//

great. that's all a new head coach needs. potty training the new lottery tot who poops his pants and expects YOU to clean it up -- and LIKE it.

meanwhile, no matter how mayo's situation with johnson/guillory/duffy resolves itself, it seems pretty apparent mayo received nothing improperly for himself. of course, what his family might have received without mayo's knowledge (entirely plausible given mayo's proven commitment to study and team) remains unclear.

example. according to coaches, teammates and classmates, mayo commuted all year & all over campus via *bike* -- as in not a motorcyle but a bicycle, the footpowered kind.

mayo also just missed the honor roll as a business major (at sc's top-20 bizschool), hung with teammates and classmates without a posse or handlers, willingly sacrificed touches and points for his coaches and team, proved his coachability by earning the unqualified respect of a demanding ex-nba coach (floyd), admitted to past mistakes which he did not repeat, did not -- as a high school player -- shove a referee who apparently tripped over mayo's feet when mayo tried to plead a technical instigated by an opponent later caught on video shoving/elbowing mayo in transition.

whereas beasley, an alleged connoisseur of "college life", defined college life as mucho cruising in his 2003 chevy tahoe suv, 4 cellphones plus service (iPhone, T-Mobile Sidekick, Verizon LG phone and a Sprint BlackBerry) paid by gawd-knows-whom, enviable downtime to maintain unenviable video game inferiority (worst on the team), a mother to "fix" things 24/7, a coach + teammates who essentially functioned as beasley ballboys in a system designed to feature beasley touches, scoring & boards.

Draft him. He seems like he understands himself and the truth is he's not going to be 19 forever. 3 years from now he'll probably be one of the best power forwards in the game.

The real problem is that Pat Riley is simply awful at relating to anyone under 30. Thus the franchise must bear his infirmity. I say that a young Spoelstra is just what Beasley needs. But of course we haven't heard a peep from Spoelstra have we?

Please resign Pat. Thank you.

I agree with Magic_Marc but we don't have to worry about Riley. He isn't coaching anymore so he doesn't have to construct a team like he would want it but what will best suit Erik Spoelstra. Coach Spo likes working with young players and improving their game. It'd be a silly move to pass on Beasley, in my opinion.

it'd be sillier still to draft the next marcus fizer. or drew gooden. derrick coleman. or even the next solid but ulitimately limited carlos boozer.

the heat will draft someone. they can't trade the pick before the draft.

but they'd be less than silly to keep a 6-8 doofus like beasley. i'm guessing they won't.

The question is how will all this translate onto the court? Maybe the best scenario is to trade for Mayo and stuff (or drop baggage like Blount).

I don't think that Marcus Fizer or Drew Gooden are even close to Beasley right now and a Carlos Boozer is an upgrade over any forward on our roster and an Allstar.

Beasley is a very special player and his potential like Rose' is off the charts. If he reaches it he'll be the best power forward in the NBA. Period.

Heat fans want that. Even if we don't play for a championship this year we want talented young guys who play hard. Fans don't want old guns for hire rotating on and off our roster, we want players that we can watch grow into champions.

Unless the guys names are Rose, Kobe, Dwight Howard or Lebron I just don't see a trade that will make sense 3 years down the road. Beasley will be in this group! He's got a better shot of being in that group than Derrick Rose does.

//Beasley is a very special player//

beasley hasn't played a single minute and he's already special? says who? his mom? "special" must be the most abused adjective every june. "bust" the most dejected adjective the following may. or did joey dorsey make another run to you know where in his delorean?

//Carlos Boozer is an upgrade over any forward on our roster and an Allstar.//

that's what every expert insisted about marion at the time of the trade.

marion (6-6 1/4) is a 4-time all-star who's still more athletic, more versatile and a better defender than boozer at 30. but marion couldn't turn bulldozers (rileyball) into ferraris and neither could wade. boozer is a cog. a 6-7 3/4 (without shoes) cog with a 9-1 standing reach. beasley is a prospect. a 6-7 3/4 (without shoes) prospect with a 9-1 standing reach.

boozer is a reliable double-double during the regular season.

boozer becomes a mostly shrinking man during the postseason (like haslem) when EVERY bigger big "starts" to play like boozer, e.g., reaching, tipping, actually extending and expending the effort on EVERY play to maximize their length.

beasley is a better athlete than boozer. boozer is a smarter player and demonstrably productive at the nba level.

if the heat want an nba big, they should get an nba BIG, i.e., a big who doesn't shrink in the playoffs.

next, systems are implemented from the top down. numbers in one system don't guarantee numbers in another. duncan would not be duncan in riley's old system.

spoelstra must retool riley's system to maximize his chances for success else it won't matter who miami drafts/trades/keeps or acquires via trade.

You guys are retarded. This guy is our new Shaq. Remember how hilarious his personality was? This is exactly what Miami needs. A Chad Johnson type personality that will entertain our city. If he were up to REAL trouble, he'd keep snitchin'!

Carlos Boozer didnt even have the college career this kid had and if we got a Boozer out of him that would be AMAZING. We are blessed to have Rose or Beasley.

I don’t have a problem with drafting Beasley. From what I understand, it’s not like Beasley has been arrested for fighting, drinking or drug problems, or anything similar. He simply appears to be a prankster (albeit misguided and inappropriate) and outspoken. I don’t find any of his words at the camp disturbing, but rather refreshing. He seems like a confident guy who speaks his mind, which for some reason the media always sees as an excuse to jump in and criticize young athletes.

As we all know, the NBA is foremost and primarily about talent. A lot of great NBA players that became champions had attitude or conduct problems (e.g. Shaq, Rasheed Wallace) at an older age. Some, such as Kobe, even had serious run-ins with the law. Even Jordan had a nasty attitude (punching teammates in the face) and his gambling problems. I am sick and tired of the media obsessing about this issue. I’m sure Chris Quinn behaves like altar boy (he looks like one, too), but that does not mean he’s our PG of the future.

Heat should just draft the most talented guy, end of discussion!!! You don’t pass up a 19 year old potential all-star who can be productive and keep this team competitive for the next 10-12 years, unless you are gonna get a current all-star in his prime in return (which is not gonna happen).

BTW, Riley is not going to be the coach (thankfully), so why isn’t the media approaching this issue from the perspective of how Spoelstra would relate to the rookie? Of course Riley would dislike Beasley, since Riley has a hard time coaching and relating to any young player.

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