Michael Beasley Joins BIG3 as 3s Company as Co-Captain
By John Krolik, @krolikjohn May 11, 2022
When I think about Michael Beasley, I think about Hoosiers. In the interest of full disclosure, Hoosiers is not my favorite movie. In fact, I don’t particularly like it at all. However, there is one scene that sticks with me – when Gene Hackman keeps his team focused before the state championship game by taking out a tape measure and showing them that the rim is 10 feet high, same as any other gym in the world.
Why does this make me think about Michael Beasley? Because you could argue that nobody understands that a basket is just a basket the way Michael Beasley does. He’s been everywhere you can imagine, and everywhere he’s gone he’s put the ball in the hoop – 10 feet high everywhere he goes.
Beasley went to six high schools. We don’t have statistics for each of the high schools he went to, but we know he averaged 30 points per game his freshman year at National Christian Academy. His sophomore year at Riverdale Baptist School in Maryland, he averaged 28 points per game. He spent his junior year at the legendary Oak Hill Academy (I don’t have time to tell you how many NBA players have come out of Oak Hill, so just click here), and averaged 20 points per game there. He spent his senior year at Notre Dame Preparatory School, where he averaged 28 points and scored 64 points in a single game.
In his single year at Kansas State, Beasley won the Big 12 Player of the Year award while averaging 26 points and leading the NCAA in rebounds.
To put things simply: wherever Michael Beasley went in his amateur career, buckets came with him. That didn’t stop when he came to the pros. Beasley was drafted #2 overall by the Heat in the 2007 NBA draft – only the 2011 NBA MVP Derrick Rose was drafted ahead of him. Beasley never quite found an NBA home, but everywhere he went he was a walking bucket. Beasley can score from the low post, on the pull-up, rolling to the rim, taking his man off the dribble, or from beyond the arc. If Michael Beasley has the ball and is standing on hardwood, there’s always a chance the ball is about to go through the net, because it’s always the same 10 feet above the ground.
As I mentioned above, Beasley never quite found a permanent NBA home, mostly because he was a positionless player before “positionless” became a compliment. He wasn’t a small forward, he wasn’t a power forward, he was just a 6’9 guy who knew how to get buckets. Over the course of his 11-year NBA career with the Heat, Timberwolves, Suns, Rockets, Knicks, and Lakers, Beasley was always able to give his team instant offense. He never scored less than 15 points per 36 minutes, averaged over 20 points per 36 minutes six times, and once averaged over 25 points per 36. He had a 30+ point game in six of his 11 seasons, and put up a career-high 42 with the Timberwolves.
Beasley also spent a few seasons playing in China. There are a lot of differences between the NBA and the Chinese Basketball Association, but the rim is still 10 feet off the ground. Hence, Beasley filled it up. In the two full seasons he played in China, Beasley averaged 28.6 points in the 2014-15 season and 31.7 points per game in the 2015-16 season, when he was named the league MVP.
Now Beasley is coming to the BIG3. To say there’s excitement to see what he’ll do in the FIREBALL3 format may be a bit of an understatement. League Co-Founder Ice Cube said the following: “It’s been a dream of mine from day one to get Michael Beasley into the league and now my dream has come true.” That’s what I’d call a vote of confidence.
It’s not hard to see why Cube is so confident that Beasley will make a splash in the BIG3. Just look back through the league’s MVPs. Beasley, as I mentioned earlier, can score from anywhere on the floor. He also stands at 6’9, 235 pounds. The First BIG3 MVP was Rashard Lewis, a small forward/power forward hybrid with three-point range who goes at 6’10, 215 pounds. The next season, the award went to Corey Maggette, a physical scorer listed at 6’6, 218 pounds. The last two MVP awards have gone to Joe Johnson, a scoring savant who can fill it up from anywhere on the court, can play multiple positions, and stands at 6’7, 240. If you had to draw up the next BIG3 MVP based on the players who have won it before, the man on your canvas would end up looking a lot like Michael Beasley.
Beasley’s former teammate, Mario Chalmers, had this to say about Beasley signing with the BIG3: “I’m glad my boy signed, giving him a chance to hoop and be happy.” It’s a safe bet that Beasley will find happiness in the BIG3 – after all, the rim in FIREBALL3 is the same 10 feet above the ground, so chances are Beasley will find a way to fill it up.
To see the 2022 3s Company Captain and Co-Captains click Here