Michael Beasley Happy to Be With The T-Wolves
From Jerry Zgoda at the Star Tribune:
Michael Beasley hoisted his new No. 8 Timberwolves jersey for display Thursday afternoon at Target Center and declared himself eager for a new beginning only two years after Miami selected him No. 2 overall in the NBA draft.
Dismissed by the Heat for a blue-light special price so it could complete the most sudden, glamorous franchise makeover in league history, Beasley introduced himself during a funny, seemingly honest news conference with an opening hello and happy-to-be-here and a closing, “I just want to play basketball. That’s it.”
“I feel there’s a lot that the world don’t know about me,” he said. “A lot of my game hasn’t been shown, a lot of my personality hasn’t been shown. I’m just ready to start my life.”
Beasley Eyes Fresh Start
From Ray Richardson at the Pioneer Press:
Michael Beasley has a passion for kids, dogs and long walks in the park. He also doesn’t mind giving driving tips.
At the end of Beasley’s introductory news conference Thursday at Target Center, he advised members of the media to “drive home safely.” That was the lighter side of Beasley, one of several new players who will wear a Timberwolves uniform next season.
The serious side of Beasley was just as evident. He promised to be a better “professional” on and off the court and become one of the Wolves’ leaders, though he doesn’t turn 21 until January.
Traded to the Wolves on Monday for two future second-round picks, the former Miami Heat forward and No. 2 overall pick in the 2008 NBA draft seemed determined to reshape his troubled career.
“I’m excited to show my drive, my will and winning attitude,” Beasley said. “This is a new beginning for me. A lot of my game hasn’t been shown. A lot of my personality hasn’t been shown. It’s a fresh start.”
From Ira Winderman at South Florida Sun Sentinel:
The 6-foot-10 forward, who had a tumultuous two seasons with the Heat, including being benched for the second half of the Heat’s final playoff game against the Boston Celtics, was cautious in his comments.
“I don’t want to say anything I’m going to regret,” he said during the media session in Minneapolis. “Miami, they have special way of doing things, and just didn’t need what I had to offer at the time, with Dwyane Wade on the floor and guys like Jermaine O’Neal. You’ve got established NBA All-Star on the floor. I guess it just wasn’t my turn.”
Beasley said he appreciated that the Heat had greater priorities.
“Miami had to do what they needed to do to accomplish their goals over the summer,” he said. “They wanted one big free agent or two, they got all the free agents. You’ve got to clear some small things to get the big things in. And I’m OK with that.”
Q&A With Michael Beasley
From Tom Pelissero at 1500ESPN.com:
MINNEAPOLIS — David Kahn delivered a clear message to newly acquired forward Michael Beasley in their first face-to-face meeting on Thursday morning.
Beasley is a rare talent. He has the skill, athleticism and drive to become one of the NBA’s best.
“I told Michael today that today is the first day of the rest of his life, which I really do believe,” Kahn said later, with Beasley sitting to his left at an introductory media conference in the bowels of Target Center. “That what’s important to me, is how he plays and conducts himself and operates here as a Minnesota Timberwolf.”
Here are some highlights from what Beasley had to say during his time with reporters on Thursday:
What was your immediate reaction when you found out the news?
“A new beginning. I feel like I did good my last two years in the NBA playing for Miami, but I feel there’s a lot that the world don’t know about me. A lot of my game hasn’t been shown. A lot of my personality hasn’t been shown. I feel like this is a new beginning and a fresh start, and I’m just ready to start my life.”
Are there reasons they didn’t see that in Miami?
“Um, no. I don’t want to say anything I’m going to regret. Miami, they have a special way of doing things. They just didn’t need what I had to offer at the time with Dwayne Wade on the floor and guys like Jermaine O’Neal. You got a lot of NBA All-Stars on the floor, and I guess it just wasn’t my turn.”
If there is one thing that seems to be here, it is opportunity …
“Oh, definitely. Like I said, it’s a young team. We got great young players in Wesley Johnson, Jonny Flynn and Kevin Love. Darko Milicic, a big banger on the inside. We’re young. We got all the room in the world to grow. We got a lot of room for error. We’ll learn, and we just gotta make the best of it.”
Do you feel you’ll be afforded more freedom to be yourself as a person?
“Definitely. I feel like being such a young team, forcing me to grow up and become one of the leaders on and off the court.”
What does that mean, leadership to you?
“Just means doing the right thing on and off the court. Whether it’s being early to practice or early to a dinner. It doesn’t matter — it’s just conducting yourself in a professional manner.”
Do you look at yourself as the go-to guy on this team?
“No. I talked to Coach (Rambis), and we really don’t have a go-to guy. We don’t have a (number) one, two or three option. We just want to get out and play team basketball, and whatever happens, happens.”
When you talk about joining a rebuilding team, how do you prepare yourself mentally?
“You gotta work. You gotta rebuild. It’s gonna be hard and we all know that it’s gonna be a lot of work. But it’s gotta be done.”
Do you think the new roster can win a lot more games than they did last year?
“Definitely. I mean why not? That’s the goal, right?”