Miami’s signing of free agent Michael Beasley (above) shortly after the Florida product’s expulsion from Phoenix certainly comes in the wake of multiple observers suggesting the chronic(-loving) underachiever has squandered his immense talent. SBN’s Mark Deeks finds such talk a bit hard to swallow, arguing that Beasley’s “career seppuku”, has occurred with “no on-court positives to offset it all”.
Beasley certainly has a degree of talent, but it is not that which we hold it to be. The rebounding numbers dwindle further year on year, and the defense and playmaking for others were never there. Furthermore, the scoring talent we build our perceptions of his talent around is based on a faulty premise: that Beasley is a high-quality scorer.
There isn’t the evidence for this. Beasley scores because he shoots a lot, not because he shoots well. And the shots he takes a lot are not even good ones to take. The decision-making (perhaps the most under-appreciated facet of a player’s talent level to ever exist) is consistently dreadful and somehow getting worse, while the shot-making talent for which he most lauded is only laudable if you ignore the facts that he is a mediocre shot maker from all ranges outside of 10 feet and that he consistently refuses to acknowledge this.
At some point about three years ago, we started exaggerating Beasley’s talents more than ever. And yet confusingly, this was also about the time Beasley decided he wanted to be more like Lee Nailon than Kevin Durant. We must reappraise, then, quite what we think of him as a “reclamation” project. We exaggerate what he could be because it furthers the narrative of his redemption. What, though, would we be redeeming?