Beasley Deserves More Credit
Beasley may have not lived up to being a #2 pick in the NBA, but he was a remarkable college player, that changed a program around...In the 07-'08 season, Michael Beasley put a forgotten mediocre progam, Kansas State, on the map...He put up monster numbers to the tune of 26 points and 12 boards a game...Not only did he just put up elite numbers, he brought Kansas State to the tourney...And since his departure, they've made the tourney almost every year, now is a place where some solid 3 star & 4 star recruits want to play, and where players want to transfer to...Beasley deserves a lot of credit for their resurgence...His #30 jersey should be retired...You got to give Beasley credit for not joining the trend of being an elite high school player going to a big program with a rich tradition, he went to a down program, and put it back on the map
I don't believe his reason for going to Kansas was to buck the trend and help put them on the map. I think its more likely he chose a school he could go to where he would be able to be "the man". Nothing more, nothing less.
It brings up an interesting point on perception though. Kentucky players get blasted for teaming to form super teams. Its viewed as a negative... even though it is probably best for their long term NBA careers. The sooner you can learn to play a role with other elite players the better. It will require sacrificing stats, shots and your own personal agenda. All valuable tools for the NBA.
See I disagree that Kentucky players teaming up is best for their long-term NBA careers, it might help their draft stock, but it also diffuses their individual responsibility and stunts their growth in college, which can leave them exposed once they get to the NBA. There's a principle in psychology called social loafing where the more people are attending to a task, the less productive each individual is, and it's pretty easy to apply it here.
Now, yes there are some exceptions where showing you can play with others was beneficial in removing a "selfish" tag or some other such nonsense, but the players who benefit the most from the Kentucky syndrome are those who are NBA ready out of high school and don't need a year of seasoning to develop their skills; players like Rose, Davis, Evans, Cousins, Wall and Knight.
However, the guys who aren't NBA ready out of high school don't seem to develop in Coach Cal's system because he always has enough depth to just move on to the next guy, and to that same degree, players who are specialists at one thing don't expand their game under Coach Cal and if they can't develop in college it's going to be harder to make mistakes and advance in the NBA. Guys like MKG, Daniel Orton, Marquis Teague and others who functioned well as part of a unit but were exposed to an extent in the NBA would have benefited from being the undisputed man on a college team and being forced to expand their game.
For a player like Beasley, going to a team where he as going to be the man was the best thing for him, his NBA appeal is his scoring and ability to carry a team's burden offensively, and he was able to develop that and showcase that at Kansas State. Unfortunately, Beasley went from the absolute alpha to at best a second fiddle and more likely a 3rd or 4th option playing behind one of the game's biggest stars in Dwyane Wade. People don't give enough consideration to how difficult it is to be a high draft pick like Beasley who need to be the first option to be most effective and then be asked to take a backseat; the mentality shift alone is enough to plant a seed of doubt that wasn't there before (should I be shooting this shot? Is this a good shot to take, am I shooting too much, what if I miss?) instead of having the absolute confidence of the coach and franchise to be taking those sort of shots.
Unfortunately by this point no teams seem willing to give him a long leash while he rediscovers his scoring ability (what I wouldn't give to see what he could do on the Bobcats) and it seems unlikely he'll ever get that back. Although the real tragedy is that the Beasley in his first year with the T'Wolves was looking like he'd be a future All-Star again but had an unfortunate injury which slowed him down and the club was forced to move on before he could really cement himself, which is a damn shame, because I loved seem Beasley and Love in the same unit, both getting 20ppg or so.
He's only just healthy now, but it's too little too late, with Phoenix such an inconsistent franchise in terms of coaching and new imports Dragic and Scola taking the lion's share of the shots and responsibility, Beasley is again in a confusing and strange position in the NBA.
Of all the players currently in the NBA, he's the guy I think I'll ask myself "what if?" about the most, because in the right circumstances and with a clean run of health this guy could have been a legitimate rival for Kevin Durant and at least a 25ppg scorer. It's a damn shame, and I hope K-State does retire his number.
"See I disagree that Kentucky players teaming up is best for their long-term NBA careers, it might help their draft stock, but it also diffuses their individual responsibility and stunts their growth in college, which can leave them exposed once they get to the NBA."
Excellent post and I totally agree. The previous poster had a good point too about the unselfishness, but I believe through out the course of their college careers, however long that may be, when star players dont have other stars to rely on and are forced to carry more of the load...their weaknesses are much more visible and that gives them an opportunity to focus on them and work on improvement...IF they have a good coaching staff.
"Now, yes there are some exceptions where showing you can play with others was beneficial in removing a "selfish" tag or some other such nonsense, but the players who benefit the most from the Kentucky syndrome are those who are NBA ready out of high school and don't need a year of seasoning to develop their skills; players like Rose, Davis, Evans, Cousins, Wall and Knight."
Man, excellent post...couldnt have said it better myself.
@omphalos, A solid post.
This topic needs a thread of its own.
Most freshamn NCAA players have already had 3-4 years of being "the man" on their highschool teams. Generally speaking, only the best of the best graduate from highschool to NCAA ball. Afterwards the best of the best of the best move on to the NBA. One could argue that Nerlens Noel was an Alpha for Kentucky without being ball dominant.
"Social loafing" is an interesting concept in relation to sports but Basketball is a unique in that when responsibility is equally shared the game generally becomes easier for the collective. Each player brings a specialized skill to the lineup that should theoretically compliment the other 4. A low post scorer, an outside shooter, a defensive perimeter player, a player who can break down the defense with his dribble and a low post defender. In addition, the more well rounded each player becomes the more effective the collective is...even if it feels like each player is doing a bit less. The perception of what doing less is usually means scoring less. Why can't these players score less but get more rebounds, play better D, more steals... etc etc? FInd other ways to help your team be successful. They may not be scoring as much but there will never be a lack of responsibility. Its not like you can have 5 alpha scorers anyways. You can't expect to draft 30 alpha players in the 1st round... nor would you want to. It would destroy basketball.
The Social Loafing arguement is a dated philosophy. There will always be something else you can do to help your team. The best example I can think of at the moment is the Memphis Griz. The Rudy Gay trade was almost universally blasted in public. Hollinger came out of it saying he felt the trade for Prince and Davis would actually make the Griz better. This contrary to the Social Loafing argument because why on earth would you give up your go to alpha scorer and volume shooter for a very solid but unspectacular starting SF?
When the game is played with one alpha and 4 supporting players your team is really at the mercy of how that single player plays. Since he takes the bulk of the shots a bad shooting night can single handedly lose you the game. A worst case scenario is having that same volume shooter not only take a lot of shots but also take a lot of bad shots on a regular basis...which is Beasley's problem. On any given offensive set, with proper ball movement a high percentage shot should avail itself at least once. The butterfly effect of having a player who impacts your team in this manner is almost incalcuable. Other players feel less involved and motivated. Ball movement stagnates. Players are unhappy. Scoring is inefficient. Rebounding suffers. See the Lakers first half of the season.
One could argue that in basketball having one star and 4 supporting players actually results in more social loafing then having 5 players who play effectively smart and fundamental basketball the entire game.
As far as Beasley is concerned he had his chance (again) early on this season for the Suns to be the man and blew it. They encouraged him to pull the trigger and be agressive. He was their #1 option all the time. It got them no where.
The most effective Alpha players in NBA history also tend to pickup an above average amount of assists for their position. It is not just because they have the ball alot but its out of necessity. When defenders know your more likely to shoot then pass you become ineffective very quickly. You either pass or become a chucker which is Beasley's main problem. Its not that he can't score its that he doesn't know when he should be doing it. This is why Beasley has largely been an inefficient scorer his entire NBA career. His shot selection just stinks. This wasn't a concern in college with all his physical advantages and a higher skill set then most at that level....but it has been in the NBA.
This brings us back to why playing on a "super team" like Kentucky can actually improve your all around game even though each player may feel like he's doing less. In basketball, less is more collectively.
Beasley went to K-state because they hired his AAU coach
Yeah, you're 100% right. I also attribute way more of K-States' sustained success to Frank Martin, than Beasley.
Either Way, You can't ignore the outrageous numbers Beasley put up as a freshman. They weren't numbers courtesy of him being the man, they were courtesy of him being that great in college. Look at the year Anthony Bennet had, and he still came nowhere close to the 26 n 12 Beasley put up to give you an idea of his dominance.
Also interesting is Beasley once said that he wished he would of stayed in college I think his rookie year in the league, and if he could do it over he would of stayed all 4 years.
Yea and if beasly would have been able to develop his lowpost game and mature, he could have came out his sophmore or junior year and been the number one pick and being a mature skilled Power forward. He was bad playing the SF in minnesota, he couldnt guard anyone and he wasnt quick enough and that with his immaturity which still hurts him would have put him on track to be at least a 3 or 4 time all star.
I disagree that he was bad as a SF in Minnesota, he was doing well when he first arrived, putting up 20ppg as a SF alongside Love and although he couldn't guard many SFs, he couldn't guard PFs either, he just picked up a few nagging injuries (seems to be a common theme in Minny, I think it has something to do with the cold) which caused him to tail off.
I don't think he was ever going to be a low-post scorer against PFs, the best he could hope for was to be an oversized SF like Lebron and take littler guys down to the post, which he can do, or use his quickness against any bigger guys.
The only reason Beasley should have gone back to college was to avoid being picked by Miami 2nd overall; they were the absolute worst team to pick him (outside of OKC with Durant) because they already had a franchise player who was a ball-dominant scorer in Wade.
I think if he'd landed with the Kings, Minnesota or any of those other teams his career trajectory would have been much better, but at the end of the day he copped a bad deal for his development because Miami went BPA instead of team fit.
you pretty much hit it on the head again omphalos. the only thing I disagree with is that I dont quite believe its over for him or too late. it very well may be, but if he gets another opportunity with another team and mentally focuses and has the work ethic, he could be a valuable player. I think he is a true tweener and that is part of his issue. Even though he is like 6'10" he is a perimeter player like Carmelo but doesnt have the ballhandling or shooting ability of Melo. Then his rebounding didnt translate. As a #1 option, yes, he is likely done, but if he can mentally adjust he may be able to carve out a nice niche for himself even on a contender.
Monster year from Beas, statistically slightly better than the season Durant put up just a year prior. I loved watchin' that team hoop, I don't recall their record off the top from that season, but they were a pretty dominant home team and even beat Kansas in Manhattan. Beasley, Bill Walker, Jacob Pullen & and Coach Martin deserve alot of credit for revamping that program. I really wanted to see them go deep into the tournament.
Is washed up! He will never be on a winning team because only bad GM's will bring him in thinking he can help a team.
I think he would habe had a totally different career. It was a bad fit for him despite his oknumbers
Yep, this^ is it in a nutshell. Look at Durant's first year in the NBA; it was okay, but not mind-blowing, it wasn't until they moved him to SF that he really started to pick up, but the difference between Durant and Beasley was that KD was given the green light from a franchise that was committed to building around him, whereas B-Easy was expected to restrict himself right off the bat for a player whose prime is still going even now; Beasley was never going to be a superstar in Miami unless he somehow outperformed Wade to the extent that Miami decided to build around him (which was never going to happen).
Beasley is a slacker... he smoked up at the first NBA function he ever attended and he's never taken his career seriously. He will never quit because his brain was never really allowed to mature to make adult decisions.
He got a huge contract from a bad team that was willing to run their offense through him and allow him to be a star. I just can't think about how he can be given more chances. Maybe the very first season he didn't get everything handed to him. But he has gotten lots of opportunities in his career. But even the Suns have now found out that he is nearly unplayable. The guy just refuses to do anything other than pull up and shoot long twos.
i'm a Miami fan and he was extremely inconsistent.
Him struggling had more to do with him than not being given an opportunity to shine.
Look at the usage% when he was at Miami.