Michael Beasley has often been compared to a cancer to any team he joins. And with the news that he was arrested in Scottsdale, Ariz., Tuesday on suspicion of marijuana possession, there’s no doubt the comparisons will continue. But I’m going to take it a step further.
Michael Beasley isn’t just a cancer; he’s more like a man with cancer, who is compelled to start manufacturing and selling methamphetamine to make ends meet. That’s right folks, Michael Beasley is not unlike Walter White, the anti-hero of the television sensation “Breaking Bad.” The story of Beasley’s tenure in the NBA is so similar to Walter White’s journey to becoming the infamous Heisenberg that it might as well be called “Breaking Beasley.”
Like Walter White, Beasley was a promising prospect before the cancer phase took over. Mr. White was a Nobel Prize winner; Beasley was the No. 2 pick in the 2008 NBA Draft, picked just behind Derrick Rose and ahead of O.J. Mayo, Russell Westbrook and Kevin Love. But like Walter White, Beasley got to watch his former colleagues excel around him as he settled for mediocrity. Once they became known as cancerous, both Mr. White and Mr. Beasley began to travel down a dark road that eventually turned them from a good person filled with potential to the villain who brought down everything he was supposed to care about.
The journey of “Breaking Beasley” began with the Miami Heat, where she showed flashes of brilliance that ultimately revealed themselves to be nothing more than a flash in the pan. He was involved with numerous marijuana investigations during his time there and quickly shipped off to the Minnesota Timberwolves after just two seasons, which allowed the Heat to clear up enough cap space for signing … wait for it … LeBron James and Chris Bosh.
Michael Beasley arrested on suspicion of marijuana possession. http://t.co/BzCML2TlhE Yup, it’s August.
— Hardwood Paroxysm (@HPbasketball) August 6, 2013
Once again, Beasley was just an expendable piece in a bigger and more profitable operation, not unlike Mr. White working for drug lords.
In Minnesota, Beasley once again showed signs that he could break through. There was the 42-point, nine-rebound game against the Sacramento Kings in 2010. In fact, Beasley averaged 19.2 points per game that season, good for top 20 in the league. But the next season, his numbers dropped all the way to 11.5 points per game. After that, he was shipped to the Phoenix Suns and his journey from mild-mannered Walter White to the reprehensible Heisenberg was almost complete.
I can’t tell you how many Minnesota Timberwolves fans were virtually “LMAO”-ing when the Suns took him off their hands. Some Phoenix fans knew what was coming, but some tried to justify the move with words like “potential,” “fresh start,” and “hopefully.” Personally, I was “FML”-ing more than anything, because my favorite team had just picked up a guy most known for his wasted potential to do some good for his team, much like Walter White’s wasted potential to provide for his family in an honorable way. Where there once was potential for our two anti-heroes, they turned to a life of crime in order to make ends meet.
Ryan McDonough, if you cut Michael Beasley, I will praise your name for eternity.
— Adam Koscielak (@AdamKoscielak) August 6, 2013
That “life of crime” label doesn’t just apply to being busted for marijuana possession for the bajillionth time. It also refers to the way he infected the entire Suns locker room. Players and coaches have always said Beasley is actually a smart and talented player, but that he never applies himself and coasts at times. “At times” is being generous. His defense last season was as empty as the black hole he became on offense whenever he caught the ball. He averaged 10.1 points in 20.7 minutes per game (eighth-most on the team) last season … on 10.2 field goal attempts per game (third-most on the team). Not exactly efficient or helpful.
Obviously, Beasley playing poorly or even getting arrested on suspicion of marijuana possession is a lot less serious than cooking meth, selling it and killing anyone who gets in the way as is the case on “Breaking Bad.” Another difference between the two is Walter White built his Heisenberg empire from the ground up to massive heights that make him the undisputed ruler of his domain. Michael Beasley has built a much less successful kind of legacy for himself, although it’s similarly despicable. Because unlike “Breaking Bad,” the story of “Breaking Beasley” doesn’t make for good television and it doesn’t have millions of fans. “Breaking Beasley” won’t go down as one of the greatest (if not THE greatest) dramas of all time. In fact, “Breaking Beasley” is one of the most disappointing stories I’ve ever had to watch.
Luckily for Michael Beasley, his story is probably not over yet, even with this most recent incident. Just like “Breaking Bad,” whose final eight episodes begin this Sunday, the story of “Breaking Beasley” still has another chapter to write. Will the anti-hero weasel his way out of an awful situation and find his happy ending? Or will his major character flaw ultimately lead to his downfall? Walter White has no control over his outcome. That’s up to the writers. Fortunately for Beasley, he is the writer of his own show and his fate is entirely in his hands. But if he doesn’t start changing up the plot a little bit and winning back some fans somewhere, it won’t be long before “Breaking Beasley” is off the air.