While Michael Beasley has earned himself some attention this week for his proclamation that he has his sights set on the MVP award, it's the reports of other recent activities of his that have caught my eye.
As reported by the Washington Post's Amy Harper:
MIAMI -- Miami Heat rookie Michael Beasley, just 18 months removed from high school, became so concerned about the temptations inherent in his transition to the NBA this season that he persuaded a trusted mentor to leave his university job and move into Beasley's new home, acting as something of a life adviser.
Beasley, 19, also brought his mother when he arrived in Miami after the Heat selected him with the second overall pick in the June draft, outfitting her and his four siblings with a six-bedroom, nearly $1.5 million home, far more extravagant than his own place near the Heat's arena. He said he spends a few hours there most days.
"My life is in a blender," Beasley said. "The game don't change . . . but this life thing is an uphill battle."
As cliche as it is, admitting a problem can often be an important part of fighting the battle.
This is a guy who seemed set for all sorts of problems upon entering the league. His public relations team has carefully shielded him from the media, which is believed to be out of fear for his potential risks to himself. Beasley carried in a prankster's reputation from high school and compounded it by making comments of the I'm-just-going-to-be-me variety prior to the draft and then appearing completely lost and disinterested on draft night when asked about the idea of financial planning with an accountant. The violation and fine at the NBA's rookie program didn't help matters either.
If Beasley is really dedicated toward cleaning up his personal affairs and keeping his conduct in line, he has the potential to turn himself into a special sort of player in this league. That he is aware that he'll need some help in that pursuit and has a desire to stay focused is nothing if not encouraging.