Even the most ardent hoops lovers occasionally lose touch with which players are plying their trade where from time to time, missing signings or trades or releases for one reason or another. So you'd be forgiven if you'd forgotten that Michael Beasley — former Kansas State standout and No. 2 overall selection in the 2008 NBA draft, one spot behind Derrick Rose, two choices ahead of Russell Westbrook, and three picks ahead of Kevin Love — had gone (back) overseas, signing a one-year deal with the Yao Ming-owned Shanghai Sharks of the Chinese Basketball Association back in October after the Miami Heat declined to bring him back and a training camp invitation from the Memphis Grizzlies seemed unlikely to result in a regular-season roster spot.
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Evidently, the former Heat, Minnesota Timberwolves and Phoenix Suns forward — who turned 26 years old on Jan. 9 — is thriving in the CBA, averaging 29.4 points on 51.4 percent shooting to go with 10.4 rebounds and 4.7 assists in 38.5 minutes per game. (Despite Beasley's production, the Sharks rank just 12th in the CBA with a 15-17 overall record.) Such gaudy numbers earned SuperCoolBeas a trip to the league's annual All-Star Game, and it looks like he gave the fans quite a show:
After the Stephon Marbury and Andray Blatche-led North team stormed out to a 13-2 lead, Beasley led the South side back, scoring a CBA All-Star Game record 59 points to lead the South to a 142-123 victory, according to Chinese news outlet Xinhua. Beasley was named the game's MVP, which tends to happen when you set a new single-game scoring record and your team wins.
It remains to be seen whether Beasley's regular-season and exhibition-game scoring prowess leads NBA teams to view him as a viable late-season addition after the CBA campaign wraps up in March. If nothing else, though, I think we can all find some comfort in the knowledge that defense is just as optional in international all-star games as it is here in the U.S.
Video via allenwkai.
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