Love him or hate him, Michael Beasley isn’t afraid to speak his mind.
As an extremely opinionated individual, the 28-year-old forward hasn’t kept quiet since signing a deal with the New York Knicks this summer.
Now possibly in store for a major role with Carmelo Anthony gone, Beasley believes that he can finally have the breakout season that he is destined to have. One of the reasons: he never got the chance to prove himself.
"If you look over the past nine years, I never played more than 24-25 minutes a game. Being a No. 2 pick, especially in my first 3-4 years, that should raise a question mark," Beasley told Yaron Weitzman of Bleacher Report in an interview. "Not to toot my own horn, but not a lot of guys come into the NBA after the kind of year I had at Kansas State. For whatever reason, I just never got a fair shake."
In the 2010-2011 campaign, Beasley played 32.2 minutes per game and put up 19.2 points on 45 percent shooting with 5.6 boards per game. That was his only season averaging 30-plus minutes and he proved to be a valuable offensive player. Since then, he has struggled to carve out major roles in the NBA, even having to go overseas to China in order to see minutes.
While he had some off-court issues in the past and hasn’t gelled on any of his teams (as indicated by the fact that the Knicks are his sixth organization in 10 years), he believes that his natural talent will become evident this season. Apparently his confidence knows no bounds.
"As far as talent-wise, I match up with Kevin [Durant], LeBron, I match up with the best guys in the world," Beasley told Weitzman. "I'm not being cocky; it's just always how I felt. But I got into trouble as soon as I got into the NBA, and it left a bad taste in a lot of people's mouths.”
That might be taking it a little too far, but it appears as though he will finally get the opportunity he has been looking for since the rebuilding Knicks will likely struggle to find the scoring column without Melo.
"They didn't speak to me about money, about playing time, anything like that,” Beasley said about why he signed in New York. “All they said was that they wanted to give me an opportunity, and that's all I want.”
Keep an eye on the former No. 2 pick in the 2008 Draft this season. If he’s right, he could finally show that if given the chance, he can be an elite scorer at the NBA level.