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Can the Heat afford to let Beasley mature on their clock?

Posted By CHRIS HAYNES On Aug 29 2009 @ 3:55 pm In Miami Heat | 3 Comments

He began his first employment by smoking marijuana at the NBA's Rookie Transition Program, he was demoted to 6th man during the year, was constantly fined for being late to multiple practices, wasn’t invited  by Jerry Colangelo to tryout for the Olympic team, and now he’s checked into a chemical addiction facility. This has been tumultuous 1st year for Michael Beasley.

Reports first surfaced early this week that Beasley had checked into a rehab facility, but sources close to me have informed me that he enrolled voluntarily because of depression more so than alcohol abuse. I think the two go hand in hand, but that’s my opinion. “Feelin like it’s not worth livin…I’m done” was what Beasley posted on his twitter page provoking his enrollment.

Beasley’s play and potential on the court has never been an issue, at 6’9 and 230 pounds, he’s ambidextrous which makes his game unpredictable, too fast for power forwards and too big for small forwards. The question has been is could he make the transition to a professional career that requires you to be able to manage your money, eliminate negative people from your camp, and handle the pressures of NBA expectations?

Michael Beasley Sr. appeared on a local Miami radio shows saying his son found it hard to adjust to the length of an NBA season and all that comes with being a NBA player, such as appearances and responsibilities at the age of 19. His dad also mentioned that the birth of Beasley’s daughter Mikaiya increased the stress levels of his son.

I agree that those are all valid excuses to point out, but what was he thinking when he figured he was ready to enter the 2008 NBA draft? Someone had to tell Beasley that it’s more than just playing basketball.

Many professional players have gone and are going through the same obstacles in their perspective careers, you don’t see them posting suicide tweets.

This is not in any way a topic to poke fun at or take lightly, but you have to question the mental psyche that Beasley possesses, the same goes for the Titans Vince Young. As fans, you don’t want to hear that your franchise player can’t handle the stress of everyday life and being rich at the same time. It’s not fair but so true.

When a team selects you as a franchise player, there are highs and lows that one has to conquer in order to be successful. Ask Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, Troy Aikman, Donovan McNabb and a host of others that battled through adversity as first- round picks. Playing good basketball is what will keep you employed, but doing the appropriate things off the court is what will take your career to another level. Look at Terrell Owens, Randy Moss, J.R. Rider, Stephon Marbury and Allen Iverson, these guys are and were great at their perspective professions, but they are all not household names. Each of them had their off the field problems (T.O. just has sideline problems). To be a successful franchise player, you have to perform well on and off the court or field.

Pat Riley has held on to Michael Beasley at the expense of Dwyane Wade’s wishes, but I think Riley has to really question if Beasley has the mental and physical capacity to handle the demands of a top draft pick. Holding on to such a vulnerable player such as Beasley, could set the team back a couple of years.

I’m not one to disassociate myself to a commitment when things get shaky, but if I have to please Dwyane Wade; my wife might even get the ax for Wade, let alone Beasley!

Alonzo mourning has his work cut out for him. The newly appointed Vice President of Player Programs and Development for the Miami Heat, has the assignment of mentoring Michael Beasley. Mourning has seen it all, being one of the truest professionals of the game and should help ease the Heat’s franchise player back on the right track.

I hope Beasley can get his life on track and concentrate on basketball, because he is a true talent that hasn’t even come close to reaching his potential. But as a Heat blogger, you have to wonder if waiting for Beasley to mature in Miami is the right thing to do.

As always, you can reach me at haynes.sportstalkbuzz@yahoo.com [1]

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