Veteran forward Michael Beasley, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2008 draft, is training in Miami in the hopes of making an NBA comeback, according to Michael Scotto of HoopsHype, who says Beasley and his representatives have been in touch with multiple teams.
In a candid conversation with Scotto, Beasley spoke about his NBA career to date, revisiting some of the good stretches, including his season with the Knicks in 2017/18, and the bad, like his time with the Lakers in 2018/19.
“My mom died when I was playing for the Lakers,” Beasley said. “I fought through that, and I came back. My cousin died the game I forgot my shorts in Oklahoma. I was battling that day, trying to fight through it. I wanted to go to the funeral, but I was already gone when my mom died. I just wanted to be there for the team, and the whole world just laughed at me. … It hurt my feelings. I’m not going to lie.”
Beasley is now 33 years old and has been out of the league since 2019, but he tells Scotto he’s “better than I’ve ever been” and has spent the last three years “perfecting my craft on every level on both sides of the ball.”
Agent Charles Briscoe tells Scotto (Twitter link) that the NBA sent a memo to teams informing them Beasley will be eligible to return to play on February 14. It’s unclear whether the forward’s current ineligibility is related to his 2019 suspension (which he never got a chance to serve), delayed FIBA paperwork following a brief stint in Puerto Rico, or something else. In any case, it sounds like he’ll be an option for NBA teams in a few weeks.
Here are a few more odds and ends from around the basketball world:
- The NBA has announced a new format for its Rising Stars event at All-Star weekend, which will take place on Friday, February 18. The event will feature four seven-player teams competing in a three-game tournament (two semifinals and a final). The player pool will be comprised of 12 NBA rookies, 12 sophomores, and four players from the G League Ignite, while the games will be played to a target score: 50 points in the semifinals and 25 points in the final, in honor of the league’s 75th anniversary season.
- The four Ignite players in the Rising Stars event will likely be Jaden Hardy, Michael Foster, Dyson Daniels, and MarJon Beauchamp, tweets Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report. Those four players will be draft-eligible in 2022, unlike 17-year-old Scoot Henderson.
- After signing NBA G League contracts, veteran wings Treveon Graham and Wes Iwundu have new teams, according to Marc Stein (Twitter link), who hears from league sources that Graham has been acquired by the Long Island Nets (Brooklyn’s affiliate), while Iwundu has joined the Cleveland Charge (the Cavaliers‘ affiliate).
- Jonathan Wasserman of Bleacher Report provides a stock report on some of the top prospects of the 2022 NBA draft class, identifying Duke forward AJ Griffin, G League Ignite forward MarJon Beauchamp, and LSU Tari Eason as some players who are climbing up draft boards.