So if you’re like me you must be confused at this point, because I was under the impression that Michael Beasley didn’t listen to anyone to begin with.
Beasley, has been a massive disappointment since the Miami Heat drafted him second overall in the 2008 NBA Draft, ahead of players like Russell Westbrook and Kevin Love. He’s already been on three different teams in his short career and has worn out his welcome at every spot including the Phoenix Suns where he currently plays.
Earlier in the season, the Suns hired Lindsey Hunter to replace the fired Alvin Gentry, and he has tried to practice patience with the mercurial forward, but has yet to extract any consistent production from him.
According to Pro Basketball Talk, Beasley has had two good games in succession and he attributes it to tuning out everyone around him.
“I’ve stopped listening to people, and I’m just doing what I know how to do,” Beasley said.
When asked what people specifically Beasley has stopped listening to, no one was excluded from his list — not even his coaches.
“Everybody,” he said. “Just everybody, from my friends, to family, to teammates, to coaches.”
When asked if the coaches deserve any credit for his improved play, Beasley changed his tune but just a bit.
“Yeah, definitely,” he said. “But at the same time, I’m the one out there in the fire. The coach can tell me what he sees from a third party perspective, but I’m seeing it first hand. Once I set a screen and I roll, and another guy steps up … if he doesn’t step up, I’ve got a jump shot. Or, I can go around him, or I’ve got [a teammate] for a dunk. There’s so many things that I can do that only my instincts can tell me.”
Hunter, has noticed the former Kansas State forward’s new approach but is staying on him in practice to make sure he’s still in tune with what the team is doing.
“He’s had some great practices, and I’ve been on him about paying attention,” Hunter said. “I’m constantly watching him, making sure, and I’ll randomly just ask him, what did a certain coach just say? Just to keep him focused in it. And he’s like, ‘coach, I’m not talking.’ I said, I know. But you’re listening to somebody. You’re doing something, because you’re not listening to what we’re telling you.”
With that said, the Suns head coach doesn’t care what Beasley does to play well, as long as he can maintain it.
“Whatever his motivation is, then let it be that,” Hunter said. “I don’t really care.”
Beasley is the type of athlete with enviable talent but unenviable work ethic and mental aptitude. Teams will continue to take chances on him because he’s young and has talent, but at some point he’ll have to grow up.