The Internet has created a vortex in which opinions, takes, and thoughts are dismissed as "hating," trolling," or some other black and white, close-minded jargon. Asking questions has become faux pas to the point where surface value concepts are taken and accepted as full truths.
Take Michael Beasley, who has a combination of both apologists and detractors.
There have been plenty of apologists that want Beasley to make it because he is a good guy in general. Nobody speaks ill of Beasley the person, but Beasley the player, that has been a different story since his jump from the NCAA to the NBA.
It is easy to dismiss Beasley as a lost cause who is a cancerous element in the locker room that has regressed in terms of on court impact year-after-year. The latter may be true, and in fact it can be proven with a simple glance over the metrics. However, the problem with Beasley has always been about the internal factors that are widely ignored when discussing his issues and future. His talent and issues are discussed ad nauseam. He has made numerous mistakes over the years. There is no questioning that. Those are again, facts.
Over the years Beasley has been given chance after chance to "turn things around" when a chance to actually turn things around might have been all that he actually needed.
The pressures of the NBA were known almost immediately for Beasley, from Frederick, Maryland to getting shipping off to Manhattan (Kansas) and eventually to South Beach to play in the NBA for the Miami Heat. Before his second season in the league he checked himself into rehab for psychological (and potential drug) issues. He checked himself in rehab. The NBA requires a minimum of 30 days in a facility for drug related issues, which is a proverbial drop in the bucket for the reported issues he was having.
What was wrong with Beasley taking a few months, or even a year, to get his mental faculties in order?
In an interview Beasley's father, Michael Sr., referenced pressures of being a father and playing in the NBA that were weighing on his son's shoulders. Those are all excuses, but both valid reasons for Beasley to take proper time to get his life on track. Channing Frye just took a year off of basketball for a heart issue that is diagnosable. For Beasley, his issues are not. Everything comes full circle as he signed with the Heat, nearly six years after they drafted him No. 2 Overall in the 2008 NBA Draft. The training camp contract will allow Beasley to compete for a roster spot and a chance to play for a team that does not need his services.
A training camp invite is far from "battling for rotation minutes and shots," but regardless Beasley is offered another chance. It is another chance, ironically, from the team that originally should have given Beasley the opportunity to step away from basketball, like he could (should) be doing this summer.
There are numerous examples of stars that rose too fast, fell from grace, and never recovered because they did not take the time to put their lives in perspective.
Many of them were unable to get back on track, but the few who did, had to go through a period longer than 30 days to resolve their issues. Is Beasley a drug addict? Unlikely. Is Beasley a manically depressed individual that needs counseling and closed door therapy? Again, unlikely and another extreme conclusion, but he has displayed the symptoms of being somewhere in the middle.
Robert Downey Jr. is a very similar example to where Beasley is at today. He has a different medium, but both are celebrities with similar pressures and doors open to them to make mistakes.
As individual amateurs in their medium Beasley is the equivalent to a star in The Mickey Mouse Club and Downey Jr. would have been a McDonald's All-American on the hardwood. They each have talent and displayed it at a young age, despite what Mark Deeks writes here on the myth of Beasley's talent. Talent is not the question. They each have (had) it. The one advantage that someone like Downey Jr. had was that he saw his bottom, reached it, admitted he was there, and then spent years to get his mental faculties in a position to turn his potential into tangible results.
Getting away from the art can ultimately be the best tool for the artist. In Beasley's case, getting off the court for a year, or as long as it takes, might be better than two-a-day practices and shooting jumpers. After five training camps basketball might not be the answer. It is the easy answer, but those are not always the right answers. It has been nonstop basketball for the better part of a decade for Beasley; some change in that routine might benefit Beasley the person.
Is Beasley capable of making the jump from hyped prep star to disappointment and then to superstar?
Nobody thinks that Beasley is a few years in rehab away from having his Tony Stark moment and taking over the NBA once back. That is not the point.
As this hits full circle with Beasley finding his way back to the Heat for training camp the question is whether this is a responsible decision by him, his circle, and the team. It is clear that 30 days in rehab did not do the proper justice for Beasley. It is clear a move to Minnesota and a change of scenery was not the answer. The exclamation point was added when a big contract, opportunity to star again, and all the coddling one person could ask for was not enough to tap into that talent.
Beasley is not the Tony Stark to LeBron James' Hulk, Dwyane Wade's Captain America, and Chris Bosh's Thor in this scenario. This is not an apologist take on Beasley or another "hater" launching bullets from a cap gun with no meaning. This is just the question that needs to be asked that is not being asked.
Is this the responsible decision for Beasley and the Heat or should he be focusing on himself away from basketball?
Time will tell but as the pattern has shown over the years, there is not a situation that has benefited Beasley the person, the player, or given him what he needs to be successful. The solution could be as far away from basketball as possible.