As much as Michael Beasley might not like it, he, JaVale McGee, Lance Stephenson and Rajon Rondo come with baggage. Sure, the narrative about them has been hammered into the heads of fans with the help of people in the media, but those reputations rarely come completely from out of nowhere.
Case in point: This hilarious “highlight” video of some of their most bizarre moments put together by the people of NBA on TNT:
This Lakers ‘Meme Team’ should be fun to watch next season pic.twitter.com/laS3dCtyO2— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) July 24, 2018
Here’s the thing, though: Who really cares if they have an outgoing personality on the court so long as it doesn’t become a distraction?
Sure, McGee has had his mental and physical lapses on the court over the duration of his career, but he also played an important role in helping the Golden State Warriors win two titles, and earned the trust to be able to do so with his play.
If we’re being completely honest, McGee has a somewhat fair gripe with Shaq for getting people to only focus on his mistakes but very rarely highlighting winning plays he’s made since.
Rondo may have rubbed some coaches the wrong way in Sacramento and Dallas, but he’s also had some very notable playoff moments since and is widely renowned by players and coaches as one of the league’s absolute smartest players. The plays above showed him being irritating to opponents, but that’s partially what makes him so valuable to the Lakers.
Beasley himself has worked hard to overcome his reputation (while earned early in his career) and that concerted effort might be why he reacted the way he did Tuesday when his and the reps of his teammates were questioned. But to his point, there aren’t many instances recently where he legitimately got in the way of the team he was playing for’s efforts to reach its goals.
Lance Stephenson is a whole other topic altogether, legally speaking. Though it should also be noted that while his level of play outside Indiana has mostly been bad, there weren’t many complains about his level of professionalism within the confines of the court.
So long as the guys mentioned above stick to funny or entertaining antics and stop well before the line where hilarity becomes distraction and accept the roles that best serve the team, Beasley’s point holds truth.
As soon as their presence presents any kind of issues whatsoever, though — especially legal ones — they should be shown the door immediately, and the questions Beasley may hate right now will have been answered.