Before anyone freaks out let me be clear that I am not comparing Beasley to anyone in terms of either skill set or accomplishment. You might even make the case that I purposely used a provocative headline for this post. Still, please hear me out.
What I am suggesting is that perhaps Beasley would be well served to set his sights on a different list of all time NBA greats.
The Role players.
Robert Horry, Dennis Rodman, Bruce Bowen, Steve Kerr. These are the guys who, although never the most important player on their respective teams, were clearly very important to the success of their team.
I’m not saying that Beasley belongs on this list. Far from it. In fact I’m pretty sure that most Wolves fans are starting believe that the simple addition of Bruce Bowen in his prime would make us a playoff team. What I am saying is that this is the list Beasley might be well served striving to join.
Coming out of college as a high draft pick Michael had every reason to expect that he would be a great NBA player. So far this has not been the case. However, he does have the requisite size and skills to be a very good NBA player and it seems to me that he is more effective the less that is expected of him. NBA sixth man of the year? I could see it.
In my opinion this would require a vastly different mind set. One that might be too much to ask of a man this young on just his second NBA team. In may well be the case that his next team will be the beneficiary of this new mind set. It may also be that he never gets there. There are plenty of NBA players who never reached their full potential because of an undying belief that they are destined to be a star. But for every Rashad Mccant allowing a poor attitude to derail obvious skills there is a Brian Cardinal riding a keen understanding of his own limitations to a respectable NBA career.
The reason why I continue to hold out hope for Michael Beasley is that he is young, he is skilled and I believe he is trying. I know some of you will disagree with this last point. He does, after all, suffer from well documented lapses in focus. Conversely, the other night against Memphis he had one of the most spectacular dives for a loose ball I remember seeing in a regular season NBA game. At the very least I hope you will concede that he is trying to try (whatever that means).
Also, who are your favorite all time role players?