When I was in high school, I dated a girl for four months. She was only my second girlfriend, so when our relationship started, I still had that “ZOMG A REAL GIRL LIKES ME” feeling. We had fun as a couple, but after about a month and a half, it was indisputably clear that we weren’t going to work out. This terrified me. I had no idea what to do, so I let the relationship drag on for two more months hoping things would get better so I wouldn’t have to break up with her. As any of you who have had a successful relationship could have guessed, they didn’t. We broke up, but as she was considerably more mature than me, we were able to stay friendly.
Wolves’ fans followed a similar emotional path with Michael Beasley. When he arrived and started knocking down every jumper he took (or so it seemed), we were amazed. We thought, for once, something too good to be true was actually true. We thought that we had just gotten an all-star in exchange for a 2nd round pick. We had that “ZOMG” feeling.
But, unsurprisingly, it WAS too good to be true. Beasley’s inefficient shots stopped falling. We started to realize that his defense was an irregular occurrence at best. We kept hoping that he would improve, that he would really start to understand how to play within the offense, but he never did. And for some reason, that royally pissed a lot of Timberwolves fans off.
I was at a Wolves/Cavs game in January, one that Minnesota lost. Beasley didn’t play a ton, but when he did, he took a few ill-advised shots. An overweight man sitting behind me was apoplectic.
“WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING?” He screamed. “YOU SUCK, BEASLEY, GET OUT OF TOWN.”
I cringed, not because I hadn’t heard those sentiments directed at Beasley before (I had), but because we were near enough to the court that Beasley had to have heard him.
I never understood the vitriol that got directed at Beasley. Certainly, he was inefficient at times. But he wasn’t maliciously inefficient. He wasn’t Kobe, jacking up shots because EFF YOU, I’M KOBE. He was just an incredibly talented kid who never really got comfortable in the offense and never achieved his incredible potential in Minnesota.
He was always a good sport about playing time. After starting most of the 2010-2011 campaign, we never heard reports of his displeasure in ’11-’12 about being demoted to sixth man, then 8th man, then…whatever he was by the end. He was never a fan favorite, but his weirdness amused me, and his talent intrigued me. I was one of his most vocal supporters.
Beasley agreed to a deal with Phoenix yesterday for three years and $18 million, according to reports. Maybe a change of scenery will help, maybe it won’t. We can’t know. But like most breakups, the healthiest thing we can do is remember the good times, wish him the best, and move on.