Michael Beasley has really opened up since coming to terms on a contract with the Los Angeles Lakers. First, he took issue with some of his new teammates’ reputations and now, he might really assuage some worries about the locker room given the way he looks up to LeBron James.
In an interview for Lakers.com, Beasley was asked about what playing with James means, and the relationship he has with the latest NBA legend to don a Lakers uniform.
“He’s like my older brother. Somebody I learn from, somebody I’ve always looked up to. Him, Dwyane Wade, Carmelo (Anthony), even Chris Paul. He’s one of the few guys that doesn’t have to, but knows how to play the game the right way. Not only knows, but wants to play the game the right way... Just spacing the floor, running the floor, having fun, dunking, throwing (alley-oops). Just playing basketball.”
This kind of stuff is great to hear from Beasley, whose attention can, at times, wander. One wouldn’t speak this highly of a new teammate and mention the way he looks up to James without wanting to do whatever it takes to make the team work on and off the court.
Beasley’s fit with the Lakers is also interesting.
On one hand, he offers very little on the defensive end under the best of circumstances. He’s only ever finished the season with a positive defensive box plus/minus (DBPM) once (his second season), though last season was his best showing in that category since his younger days.
To continue the iffy picture stats can paint about him, Beasley has only ever held a positive net rating in one season, and that was the year he played a mere 20 games (2015-16).
Still, in small doses, Beasley might be able to make it work, and if there’s a player who might be able to help Beasley consistently reach the level of play that actually might help a team, it’s LeBron.
At the very least, it certainly sounds like Beasley will do whatever he can to avoid letting down the man he considers a brother.