Michael Beasley has carried an off-the-court reputation that outweighs his on-court NBA career but he seems to have found a niche with the Knicks. ESPN’s Ian Begley profiled the eccentric former second overall pick, whose personality and performance have become a favorite with his teammates.
Beasley wanted to prove himself so badly this offseason, he left $10MM in guaranteed money from a Chinese basketball team to accept a one-year, $2.1MM deal with the Knicks.
“Yeah, I want a lot of [money]. But I want to prove that I’m the best. The ball will tell you who the best players are, not the contracts, not the media,” Beasley said.
Everyone from childhood friend Kevin Durant to Knicks general manager Scott Perry to opposing coaches speaks glowingly of Beasley and his scoring ability. Conversely, his former and current teammates describe a fun and quirky — sometimes misunderstood — player who memorizes phone numbers and wears wristwatches on his ankle.
“He spends a majority of his time talking to his kids on the phone. He’s a good dude,” Knicks guard Courtney Lee said. “He gets a reputation from stuff that happened in the past, and it still follows him to this day. But he’s not that guy that everybody perceives him to be.”
Check out other Knicks news and notes below:
- Tim Hardaway Jr. took one step closer to immortality earlier this season when Bucks All-Star Giannis Antetokounmpo jumped over him for a posterizing dunk. The Bucks started selling a shirt of the dunk and Hardaway is ready to move on from the moment, Marc Berman of the New York Post writes. “That’s back in the past,’’ Hardaway said. “We’re moving on.’’
- Bucks forward Jabari Parker has suffered a torn ACL twice in his career and he offered up some words of advice to Knicks superstar Kristaps Porzingis, Berman writes in a separate story. “For himself, to think about his journey, think about who he is and not thinking about comparisons and looking far outside what’s out of his control,’’ Parker said. “Because then you face doubt on top of the doubt you face with yourself. You never want to seek outside advice for either your confidence or your doubt. I want him to stay in tune, taking it real slow and try to train his body to push himself forward.’’
- Head coach Jeff Hornacek addressed the NBA’s recent warning to the Bulls about purposely tanking this season. Hornacek said there is a difference between purposely losing and analyzing the current roster, Berman writes. “There’s a difference between tanking and trying to look at the future,’’ Hornacek said. “And we made trades to bring these guys in. We brought Trey in from the G-League and Emmanuel from another team. That’s a totally separate thought process. We’re seeing if they can play for us.’’