August 25, 2009
Heat forward Michael Beasley checked into a Houston rehabilitation facility over the weekend and is being treated for various issues, including depression, according to an AP source.
Beasley's admission comes after a handful of disturbing Twitter posts and photos were attributed to him on Friday.
Here's what they're saying out in the ether about the news ...
Dime: "When a young phenom stumbles, or goes all the way and completely falls from grace, the race is on amongst guys like us (media) to say 'I saw it coming.' Whether it's a young Mike Tyson's behavior around women or Todd Marinovich's father creating a recipe for his son's rebellion, pundits like to say they saw the signs before anyone else. In the case of Michael Beasley(notes), playing the 'We saw it coming' card initially seemed like opportunistic hindsight, and yet, thinking back to our time spent with Beasley, everything that's come to light this week makes sense. Dime has been down with Beasley since the summer before his senior year of high school, on through his pit stop at Kansas State, and through his rookie year with the Heat. All along, he's always been just a different kind of kid, whether he was being alarmingly immature or comically laid-back. And if you know his backstory, it's easy to see where some personal issues may surface. But for Beasley to end up checking into a rehab center and being subject to the John Lucas(notes) program, it still came as a surprise ..."
Michael Wallace, The Miami Herald: "It's hard to know what's been racing through Beasley's mind during an offseason filled with emotional speed bumps. It's hard to know what may have driven him to the brink of substance abuse. But life came at Beasley fast this offseason. It started with the birth of his first child, daughter Mikaiya, back in May. At one moment, Beasley talked about how the birth had changed his outlook on things. I spoke to him in June about this very issue and he went as far as to say that he planned to save 75 percent of his salary to put away for his family.In the very next breath, Beasley was as defiant as ever when it came to the maturity issue. He wondered out loud why everyone expected this 20-year-old young man to act like he was 30 or, well, a mature 20. In July, there was the second snub from USA Basketball execs, who passed over Beasley as they picked out young prospects who will be in line for future Olympic squads. Almost everyone who was anyone in the draft lottery the last three or four years was invited to that Las Vegas training camp tryout. Except Michael Paul Beasley, Jr., the No. 2 overall pick in 2008. That omission sent Beasley on the rant that led to the disappearance of his first Twitter account. He posted something about being in 'kill mode' entering next season as a result of the USA tryout snub. Then came the trade rumors ..."
Dave Hyde, South Florida Sun-Sentinel: "We've seen similar kinds of stories to this in South Florida sports. Ricky Williams kept getting second chances — and third and fourth — for testing positive for marijuana until changed his behavior. We've also seen the Dolphins take a flier on Dimitrius Underwood, a player with mental problems. That didn't work. We've seen the Heat's Willie Burton go for mental help, too. He came back and played in the same middling way as before. The Heat has more invested in Beasley than any of those players, even than the Dolphins did with Ricky. He's the No. 2 pick in the basketball draft. He's a chip you don't get to grab very often. There are questions to ask: If Beasley's career is in trouble, how does the Heat recover? What does it mean for Dwyane Wade's(notes) future here? Where does this franchise then go? All summer long, as the roster stayed the same, the consolation for Heat fans was knowing Beasley should be improved in his second season. It's what everyone rooted for. Now you're rooting for something else with Beasley. You're rooting he's OK. You're rooting for a good ending to all of this, whatever it exactly is. All anyone knows for sure is the previous story of a goofy, 20-year-old kids who just needs to grow up gets told a lot differently now."
Henry Abbott, TrueHoop: "Some young American athlete once stood near something that looks like it could contain marijuana? You're kidding. Didn't we know that before we saw the photos? (Did anybody here go to college?) Beasley's Michael Phelps moment does not matter a bit to me. Except for two things: The scary things Beasley has been feeling (assuming he really is behind that shuttered Twitter account) and the serious help he has sought. Instead of learning that something goofy has happened with a young athlete and some internet technology, we are apparently learning instead that one of the NBA's better known players is having a terrible time."
Dave George, Palm Beach Post: "For the entire Heat organization ... the mystery surrounding Beasley is reaching crisis status because of Wade, who could opt out of his Heat contract at the end of this season and take his magic act elsewhere. Without Dwyane, we're talking utter chaos for the Heat. A loss of identity. A loss of hope. A loss of the marketing muscle that's needed more than ever in a sagging economy. So you're telling Wade to hang around until Chris Bosh(notes) or some other top-line talent can be added to the roster as a free agent in 2010. You want him to trust in the possibility of another trip to the NBA Finals with Miami. You want him to step confidently onto a bridge to somewhere. Well, Beasley represents that bridge in 2009 and, increasingly, it's going nowhere. This is how it works in a league that, more than others, forces teams to take a flyer on vital personnel decisions involving painfully young players who are only just beginning to understand who they are. Easy enough, if they all were like LeBron James(notes). If I were Wade, that's the kind of guy I'd be looking to join up with in chase of another championship. Michael Beasley, or 'SupercoolBeas,' as a new shoulder-to-shoulder tattoo says across his back, is a high-maintenance player who the Heat will either have to make over or move."
Shoals, FreeDarko: "Unless I am totally wrong, and Beasley's been shooting speedballs before every game, this a ton of wasted resources, breath, and bed space for a kid whose long-term mental health — whatever its current state — would probably benefit from a vacation and some trips to a psychologist. But rehab sends a message to the world, and to Beasley. Like jail. Never mind that, if someone sick wants to get well, he needs to do so of his own accord. Threatening and intimidating Beasley onto the straight and narrow by making him hear about men who lose everything and spend their mornings looking a vein ... it's an insult to Beasley, those addicts, and anyone who ends up working on his 'case.' Normal people have to undergo some kind of in-house screening before entering a rehab facility. That Beasley got green-lighted immediately, when his situation would seem to demand at least some preliminary treatment before getting recommended for these places. Maybe I'm out of touch with the treatment of addiction, or the best way to deal with a recreational drug user whose behavioral issues only matter because he's a gigantic business asset. It's just hard for me to read this stuff and not laugh at the whole thing, while feeling a little bad for Beasley — who might have missed out on a chance for an appropriate, not nuclear-level, intervention."
Marcel Mutoni, SLAM Online: "It's being assumed in many circles that Beasley is actually battling depression, and he's now in the hands and care of John Lucas. Still, the pointless race is on to figure out what went wrong, and if anything could've been done to prevent it. (The media, after all, loves to psychoanalyze 'troubled' celebrities.) It's unlikely that we'll ever know the whole truth in this situation, and that's perfectly fine. Thought it's obvious that Beasley has issues to work through — and will hopefully get to do that with the aid of Lucas — the problems are his, and ultimately none of our business. The only certainty in all of this is that Michael's trade value has taken a hit, something Pat Riley and company are surely all too aware of. The rest of the chatter is little more than white noise."
Heat Daily: "It's unclear at this point how serious the problem is and what to expect. Training camp starts soon. We know Beasley has been training hard this summer to get better, but his mind is a lot more important than his physique at this point. Let's wish Beas the best in recovering and coming back stronger and happier to our team. We need him and I think the best cure will be showing himself and the whole world that he has the potential to be one of the best basketball players in the league."