Monday , Aug , 24 , 2009 Oly Sandor

One thing should matter to Miami’s Michael Beasley: his health

It doesn’t matter if he lives up to the hype of being a lottery pick. It doesn’t matter if he develops defensively and becomes a two-way player. It doesn’t even matter if he blossoms into the type of co-star that convinces Dwyane Wade to re-sign with Miami. None of that should matter to Michael Beasley. While we are at it, neither should the money, the nightlife, or the lifestyle. From this day forward, one thing should matter: his health …


One thing should matter to Miami's Michael Beasley: his healthBreaking NBA news mixed with analysis …

Their News: “The Miami Heat forward checked into a Houston rehabilitation last week and is being treated for various issues, including depression, a person briefed on the situation told The Associated Press on Monday.”  (The Canadian Press via TSN.ca)

My Gut Reaction: It doesn’t matter if he lives up to the hype of being a lottery pick. It doesn’t matter if he develops defensively and becomes a two-way player. It doesn’t even matter if he blossoms into the type of co-star that convinces Dwyane Wade to re-sign with the Miami Heat.

None of that should matter to Michael Beasley. While we are at it, neither should the money, the nightlife, or the lifestyle. From this day forward, one thing should matter: his health.

A couple of points  worth considering:

First, for whatever reason, I’m not totally surprised Beasley has some issues. Of course, last summer, he got caught up in that incident with fellow Heat rookie Mario Chalmers at the NBA’s inauguration camp for rookies.

Throughout last year, there were further reports of up-and-down behavior. Now we know it was more than immaturity and a young man enjoying the trappings of being a pro basketball player. Clearly, Beasley has problems with marijuana and depression.  

Second, I believe mental health is likely underrepresented in the NBA. Sure, the NBA life is great: money, fame, and celebrity. However, with that must come an intense pressure from fans, agents, family, and the infamous entourage to succeed.

I think NBA players must struggle with how to handle such expectations. In fact, if something was wrong emotionally, I’m sure the typical response would be to work-out, lift weights, or hit the practice court. Why would a 6-8, 250 pound physical specimen think to ask for assistance with mental issues?

For instance, Beasley was already receiving psychological help, but things clearly built and escalated to  last week’s comments on his twitter account. The second year forward stated that: “feelin like it’s not worth livin" and "I feel like the whole world is against me I can’t win for losin."

To be fair, today there is likely a greater acceptance of mental health as an illness. For instance, Bison Dele, the talented but troubled post in the 1990s, took a leave and then returned to the NBA without incident. Last season, Delonte West had the full support of the Cleveland Cavaliers when he left the team to deal with depression.

Hopefully, Beasley can do the same. It’s all that matters.

Get at us with thoughts in the comment box below on Beasley. Follow Oly Sandor on HoopsVibe and Twitter. Photo courtesy of Keith Allison.