Monday, April 14, 2008

Why Michael Beasley Will Never Become a Superstar

Kansas State power forward Michael Beasley has spent the weekend with family members and advisers, coming to a decision on whether to turn pro. At a news conference Monday, the 6-foot-10 Beasley is expected to announce he is entering the 2008 NBA Draft. Most likely, Beasley will be taken with the first pick; at the very least, he will go second.

There is no doubting his NBA potential. He has a lethal combination of quickness and strength, making for a difficult guard. Beasley had the second-most rebounds and third-most points of any freshman in NCAA history that past season. Beasley is a lock for superstardom, it seems to most.

However, Michael Beasley will never reach his potential or become a great NBA player. Like Vince Carter, he will be stuck in very good. Here are three reasons.
  1. Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett are good offensively, but what places them among the best power forwards ever is their defense. Beasley is a one-dimensional, offensive player. (Admittedly, he is very good with that dimension.) To be mentioned among the league's elite, Beasley will have to improve on the defensive side of the ball. On the rare occasions that he puts some effort in defensively, he looks to be doing his best Drew Gooden impersonation. Too often, Beasley finds himself lost, out of position and gambling for steals.
  2. What separates a very good player, like Vince Carter, from an all-time great player, like Michael Jordan, is work ethic. In high school, Beasley stopped lifting weights because he worried about catching a cold in the school gym, which he said was poorly heated. Can you imagine a high school-aged Michael Jordan using that excuse? Work ethic can be improved, but the chances of Beasley's going from poor to anything more than average are slim.
  3. Does Beasley have a winner's mentality? Watching Beasley at Kansas State, the answer was typically no. The best example might be the Wisconsin game. He was focused and played well to start the game. Then, in the second half, Beasley began to lose his poise and almost seemed disinterested. He forced too many plays, either driving into waiting defenders or settling for low-percentage shots. Unlike many of the basketball's best, who look to make their teammates better when they are struggling, Beasley was helpless. He as much to work on if he hopes, ultimately, to develop into a winner.
Some say Beasley is too small to play power forward and that is what will limit him in the NBA. However, you probably noticed the three factors I listed as to why Michael Beasley will never reach his potential are all controlled by Michael Beasley himself. All three are tied into one major, overriding factor: his attitude.

Michael Beasley with a good attitude is a very good defender. Michael Beasley with a good attitude works harder to develop his game. Michael Beasley with a good attitude leads a team.

Right now and until he shows otherwise, Michael Beasley doesn't have a good attitude.

7 comments:

Anonymous,  April 14, 2008 at 8:13 PM  

You're a f*cking idiot. Have you ever watched Beasley play? His defense is better than every Big 12 post player.

Drew H. April 15, 2008 at 7:20 AM  

If that's the case, it is amazing that both DraftExpress and NBADraft.net are so amazingly off on their assessments of Beasley's defense.

Cecilio's Scribe April 15, 2008 at 9:35 AM  

#2 is dead on. Beasely is a dog and has a horrible work ethic, by all accounts. he is one of those players who also appears to have no desire to improve his game if that requires any add'l work. a few months back, i was listening to an analyst who cited an NBA scout...the scout mentioned how teams keep charts/give grades for body language, mental approach, team-orientation...it takes into account how the player interacts with teammates (acknowledging a great lob, slapping hands during a timeout, etc.)...out all the prospects they'd graded, worst on the board? Beasely. this guy will put up nice numbers getting by on talent alone, but never going to lead an NBA team.

KGoon1590 April 16, 2008 at 6:11 PM  

In general, I enjoy this site, but I don't know if I agree with these assessments. He is an offense-oriented player, but a very VERSATILE offensive player that can go inside and outside, who gets after rebounds. His defense needs work, but that can come in time. Also, I think there are some big assumptions made about his work ethic based on an anecdote. He must've had some work ethic to bring his game to where it is. Plus, it's hard to lead a team when you're a freshman and your team is a lot worse than the team you're facing (i.e. Wisconsin). Beasley essentially put Kansas State in the tournament, but with his surrounding cast, you couldn't ask for much more.

I don't think anyone expects Beasley to be Lebron, but on the other hand, I think you're assuming things from secondhand sources, like attitude, that can't typically be observed by a fan. It's a fair prediction that he's not an all-time great, but tread carefully.

Anonymous,  May 21, 2008 at 11:03 AM  

I don't know about his attitude but his stiffness and his lack of length could factor in as far as him becoming a top power forward. Beasley looks like a two-foot jumper which could hurt him when trying to rebound against taller players in the pros. Being a lefty will help a bit but I see Beasley as being a juiced-up version of Corliss Williamson or Juwan Howard. At best he’s Elton Brand at worst Shelden Williams. He’ll be a good pro but I believe he’s more of a tweener until he puts on more muscle and even then he still won’t be a true big man like Stoudamire or Al Horford. We’ll see what his true dimensions are as the draft nears. I’d take Rose because he’s a flashy facilitator who’ll attract more good players to a team.

Anonymous,  June 4, 2008 at 10:51 AM  

I don't know if being 6-10 with long arms qualifies as lack of length.

If an eighteen year old appearing immature on the court with teammates equates to bad attitude which then turns into bad work ethic, there wouldn't be very many freshman phenoms with good work ethic ever. How the heck do you quantify body language anyways?

Beasley, in fact, could be seen shooting inside Bramlage Coliseum for hours after getting back from a road loss where he scored over 20 points and had more than 15 rebounds this past season because he thought he could've done more to help KSU get a win. If that's a bad attitude or bad work ethic, then NBA teams will just have to deal with it I guess.

Citing what a basketball player does in a weightroom from his high school days hardly proves anything. It sounds like you're searching to satisfy this bad work ethic stereotype that tends to follow a fluid and versatile player who makes the game look easy.

I don't think teams are looking at him as a power forward. It's what he played at KSU, but that's only because their front court was lacking. He's a combo forward that won't have a set position. It's foolish to compare him to Elton Brand, Corliss Williamson or Sheldon Williams - two completely different games.

Heat Fan,  July 7, 2010 at 12:21 PM  

So good

2 years later we all know you were fucking right about him.

Everything you said is true !!

Too bad Pat didn't read it before drafting Beasley.

About the Undrafted Free Agent

Ron Crimson was the only player on the high school roster to not get in a game. He couldn't argue with the decision, because he sucked. Needless to say, yet stated anyway, when he entered the NBA draft following his sophomore season in college, he went undrafted. Now, Ron Crimson is the Undrafted Free Agent.

Contact the Undrafted Free Agent

Interested in informing the Undrafted Free Agent of his mistakes, advertisement opportunities, or a scoop on the latest sports scandal? (You can guess which is more likely.) Well, email him at undraftedfreeagent [at] gmail.com.

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