Having recently signed for the New York Knicks, Michael Beasley has revealed he didn’t want to re-sign with the Milwaukee Bucks this summer.
Although the odds seemed stacked against it throughout the summer due to the Milwaukee Bucks’ limited cap situation and general lack of roster spots, many of the team’s fans continued to hold out hope that Michael Beasley would return for another season in Milwaukee.
Those hopes were officially dashed last week when Beasley came to terms on a one-year, veteran minimum deal with the New York Knicks, but the reality is a return may never have been more than a fantasy to begin with.
In an interview with Marc Berman of the New York Post, Beasley revealed that he was pursuing opportunities which could provide him with greater playing time in the coming season, and as such that effectively ruled out the Bucks.
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"“Beasley didn’t want to return to the Bucks, he said, because of playing-time issues under coach Jason Kidd. His minutes per game was second-lowest of his career.‘Milwaukee got a nice young core – unfortunately, the bulk of their corps play my position,’ Beasley said. ‘Minutes for me, there just wasn’t what I wanted to see. Not that I’m not interested in helping the young guys, but I didn’t feel comfortable watching 30-plus minutes of basketball a night. I think I’ve deserved more minutes than I’ve gotten. Going forward, I feel I’m good enough and proven myself enough to not watch more than half the game every night.’’’"
Beasley became an incredibly popular figure in the Bucks’ locker room, while rehabilitating his image in the process. To the surprise of many, Beasley even became a leader within the group, showing an experience and wisdom that didn’t fit the perception of the former second overall pick.
Zach Lowe highlighted Beasley’s transformation in his annual Luke Walton All-Stars column back in March.
"“Beasley has even shocked the Bucks by easing into the role of sage veteran. Craig Robinson, in his first season as Milwaukee’s vice president of player and organizational development, has tried to build chemistry by inviting players and team employees for dinners on the road. Beasley says yes every time. Younger players prod Beasley about his weird career path — about washing out of the NBA, and adjusting to being (almost) alone in China. He answers every question.‘It has been terrific for our guys to listen to his life story,’ Robinson said, ‘and hear from someone who has been where they don’t want to go.’"
Considering Robinson ended up in New York, only for Beas to sign soon after shouldn’t be seen as all that surprising considering those quotes.
In the rest of the piece with the Post, Beasley continues to rally against those who have misinformed opinions of him based on who he was in his early years in the league.
"“People meet me. First thing they say: ‘You’re totally different than I thought you are.’ A large part of my career is due to perception, what people think what I am or should be. My past is my past. They keep harping on it. Everyone wants me to grow up and learn from my past, learn from my mistakes. But you guys should do the same thing. I’m years removed from any marijuana incident or incident period. But it’s all anybody speaks about. I’ve grown up. Now it’s time for you to grow up.”"
The Maryland native also described himself as “a walking bucket” in the interview, a refrain which should feel pretty familiar for Bucks fans.
What seems clear is that Beasley is going to look to set Madison Square Garden alight with his play this year. With a little bit more injury luck than he had last year, hopefully he can put together a standout season and earn himself a longer term, more lucrative NBA deal next summer.
That’s certainly something no Bucks fan would begrudge him after a year of reliable production and fun memories.