In 2008, Miami Heat rookie Michael Beasley came into the league with big expectations. He was to be the second star in tandem with Dwyane Wade, a scorer, rebounder, and matchup nightmare. Things haven't worked out close to as planned — Beasley has been an inefficient shooter and little else with the Heat and Minnesota Timberwolves. He has a chance to start over with the Phoenix Suns after signing a three-year contract worth $18 million, but no one really expects him to approach the potential he flashed as a teenager.
Everyone, that is, except Beasley himself. Because, as he enters his first season as a Sun, he has plans to make his first All-Star game. From an interview with XTRA 910 in Phoenix, as transcribed by Sports Radio Interviews (via SLAM):
How he feels coming into this new situation in Phoenix:
"It feels great. I actually feel great coming into a situation like that. I get a chance to not be the main guy but you know to be the go-to guy. Not just scoring but the go-to stopper and whatever my team needs, me to get a bucket or get a defensive stop, I feel good and confident that I can be that guy." [...]
Whether he believes he will be an All-Star before his contract is up in Phoenix:
"In my mind I'm going to be an All-Star this coming season. All I want to do is win. Whether I get the recognition for what I do on the floor or not, as long as we're winning I'm okay with that."
I don't want to be too hard on Beasley here, because most NBA players need to maintain an absurd level of confidence to perform well. And while I don't know how someone can be "the go-to guy" without being "the main guy," he is at least not touting himself as a savior or the man who will replace Steve Nash in every Suns fan's heart.
Nevertheless, there's a difference between having confidence in yourself and saying something totally ridiculous. Beasley can't be expected to speak poorly of himself, because that's not how athletes are wired. He was answering a specific question here, and it probably shouldn't have been asked in the first place given that Beasley has an infinitesimal chance of being an All-Star over the next three years.
But that doesn't mean Beasley answered it well — that response would have involved his thoughts on winning games with a curt dismissal of the importance of individual honors. Whether deservedly or not, Beasley has a reputation as a disappointing player with a misguided sense of his own worth. Claiming that he can make the All-Star team only reinforces that impression, so there's no way he can win here.
In this same interview, Beasley claims that he has matured as a person and player. In truth, the easiest way to convince people of that change would be to lay off the hyperbole.
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