Michael Beasley isn’t about to be rooked by Stephen A. Smith.
Beasley, who has had a handful of marijuana-related run-ins in his past, said a bunch of wild stuff at his New York Knicks introduction on Tuesday — even suggesting that Carmelo Anthony, Kristaps Porzingis, Tim Hardaway Jr. and himself “are four guys that can score 25 points per game” — to which the ESPN commentator Smith responded on his radio show, “Evidently, he’s smoking something.”
The nine-year NBA veteran with “Supercool Beas” tattooed on his back didn’t take too kindly to that suggestion in a podcast appearance with SLAM magazine. He claimed he “made it really important to myself to clean my act up” in 2012, when his then-4-year-old daughter read “poor connection” on a FaceTime call. “Because if she can read ‘connection,'” he said, “‘marijuana’ is only one more syllable.”
He then went off on Smith, via the New York Daily News:
“He’s a liar, bro. I love the words he uses, I love how adamant he is, especially when he’s wrong because if you’re not going to stand for yourself, who is going to stand for you? Cool. But it’s like literally, I’ve sat next to guys he was on the TV talking about, and (Smith’s) saying, ‘Man, I just got off the phone with this guy.’ And literally, I’m next to that guy he’s talking about, and he says, ‘Man, I’ve never even been in a room with Stephen A.’ Why does what you say have credibility when literally everybody knows you’re lying about it?”
“You can say whatever you want, but when you say my name and anything negative, A) that continuously paints the wrong perception of who I am as a person and who I am morally. And then B), I had to explain to my daughter what weed was. Is that my fault or was that his? … I understand you have a job to do. I understand you have money to make and kids to feed, I don’t know if he has kids, but I do. And the more you paint me in a negative light, the less money I can make to feed those kids. And then on another step, to take it a step further: I have an eight-year-old, a seven-year-old and a six year-old and a six year-old. And they all read or write. And I have to explain to children, what weed is.”
“It’s unfair to me, it’s unfair to the Knicks. Because now the Knicks look dumb for signing a quote, unquote weed head. Let guys live.”
He’s now looking for an apology from Smith:
A post shared by Michael Beasley #NYK Forward (@michael8easley) on Sep 20, 2017 at 10:48am PDT
Smith found himself in a similar controversy this past June when he suggested Lamar Odom “was on crack” during the 2013-14 season. “Mr. Smith chose to jokingly disparage Lamar for having a disease,” Odom’s lawyer responded in a statement. Odom said in a recent Players’ Tribune piece his downward spiral with drugs, which resulted in a near-overdose in 2015, began four years earlier in December 2011.
Beasley was embroiled in a marijuana controversy at the NBA’s Rookie Transition Program in 2008, checked into a rehab facility in 2009 after posting a photograph of himself with what looked to be marijuana in the background, pulled over and ticketed for having marijuana in his car in 2011, and then arrested on suspicion of marijuana possession in 2013. He has played for five teams in nine NBA seasons, averaging a career-high 19.2 points per game on the Minnesota Timberwolves in 2010-11.
Beasley also clarified his 25 points-per-game comment on the podcast, suggesting he meant that he and his three teammates were each capable of scoring 25 points on a given night. For the record, Anthony is the only member of that quartet to have averaged 25 points for a season, but Beasley has scored 25 points on 41 occasions in his career, including 28 for the Milwaukee Bucks in January.
We should also probably mention that Knicks general manager Scott Perry recently left both Anthony and Beasley off his list of core players — naming only Porzingis, Hardaway, Willy Hernangomez, Frank Ntilikina and Ron Baker — in a blog he penned for the Madison Square Garden company website. Anthony, who has been the subject of trade rumors all summer, is also reportedly making “a Hail Mary” push for a trade to the Houston Rockets before accepting a deal to the Portland Trail Blazers.
Carmelo Anthony's people are trying a Hail Mary attempt to get him to Houston (Knicks won't do it) … before he accepts a deal to Portland
— Jason McIntyre (@jasonrmcintyre) September 21, 2017
Lastly, we should note Beasley made several other claims on top of the “25 points” thing on Tuesday:
• “Do I see us better than a 30-win team in Vegas? Listen, I don’t even go to Vegas. So, yeah, I do. I think we’ve got a position to be not only a playoff team but a 5-, 6-seed team if we do it right.”
• “I’m still young, bro. I’m 28. I plan to play at least until I’m 43. So you do the math.”
• “I’m literally just Carmelo on the left side of the floor.”
• “I still think I have a chance to be one of the best in the NBA. I’m your favorite player’s favorite player. And it’s not enough for me for him to know that. I want the world to know that. So I’m still working hard as if I can be the best ever. If you doubt it … it will just make my story that much better.”
I walked by Michael Beasley on the street today and he was wearing a wristwatch on his right ankle for some reason. THE KNICKS ARE BACK BABY
— Pablo S. Torre (@PabloTorre) September 21, 2017
The 2017-18 New York Knicks are off to a solid start.
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