Michael Beasley in good state with the Miami Heat after being released by the Phoenix Suns
Michael Beasley has seen recent success on the court for the Heat this season, after having a troublesome stint with the Phoenix Suns.
11/25/2013 12:01 AM
11/25/2013 1:12 AM
It didn’t take long for Michael Beasley to move past his separation with the Phoenix Suns.
Beasley, who was basically paid $7 million by Phoenix this summer to go away, said Saturday night that he needed “approximately four to five hours” to get over what the Suns called a termination agreement. Beasley’s buyout came after an arrest for marijuana and other off-court incidents, but that didn’t dissuade the Heat from quickly pursuing its former No. 2 overall pick at a deeply discounted rate.
Beasley landed on his feet after a series of potentially career-ending missteps thanks to the Heat, and his return to Miami’s veteran locker room has worked wonders for the talented small forward. Entering Monday’s game against the Suns at AmericanAirlines Arena, Beasley is shooting close to 60 percent (36 of 61) from the field and 50 percent (5 of 10) from three-point range.
“God works in mysterious ways,” Beasley said. “Every time one door closes, another one is open. That’s why I’m here.”
For the Heat (10-3), Beasley has provided instant offense off the bench and has been a steady presence for a lineup in constant flux to begin the season. Initially a stopgap in the rotation, Beasley is now playing regular minutes. On Saturday against the Magic, Beasley was 4 of 4 from the field in less than five minutes in the second quarter.
Under the weather recently, Beasley said Saturday that he was feeling better and is approaching Monday’s game against his old team as just “another game on the schedule.”
“I’m going to treat this one like every other one,” Beasley said. “The whole team is.”
He then added, “I won’t give them the satisfaction,” indicating there were still some hard feelings between himself and the Suns.
Without the proper context, it’s a bit misleading to compare Beasley’s statistics from last season to his numbers now, but he is producing the best percentages of his career in the same calendar year that began with him shooting the worst numbers of his career.
Beasley finished the 2012-13 season shooting 40.5 percent from the field and 31.3 percent from three-point range. After last season’s All-Star break, Beasley shot 41.5 percent from the field and 26.8 percent from distance.
It was a rough season for Beasley off the court as well. He was under investigation for alleged sexual assault from an incident in January, but was never charged. He also was cited for multiple infractions during a traffic stop for excessive speeding. Beasley was driving with a suspended license and in a vehicle without a displayed license plate and expired registration. A loaded gun was also in the Mercedes.
The rough season in Phoenix only got worse when Beasley was arrested for possession of marijuana. At that point, the Suns decided to waive Beasley.
“The Suns were devoted to Michael Beasley’s success in Phoenix,” Suns president Lon Babby said in a statement after Beasley’s release. “However, it is essential that we demand the highest standards of personal and professional conduct as we develop a championship culture. Today’s action reflects our commitment to those standards.
“The timing and nature of this, and all of our transactions, are based on the judgment of our basketball leadership as to how best to achieve our singular goal of rebuilding an elite team.”
Turning the page on its post-Steve Nash era, the Suns traded for former Clippers backup guard Eric Bledsoe this summer. Bledsoe, paired with guard Goran Dragic in the backcourt, created an initial buzz in Phoenix this season, but the Suns lost four games in a row before defeating the Bobcats on Friday. Bledsoe missed three consecutive games last week with a left shin bruise.