Monday, August 24, 2009

Michael Beasley Goes to Rehab

I was pretty shocked when I found out early Monday from Yahoo Sports that the Heat's Michael Beasley was admitted into a Houston-area rehabilitation clinic. I knew about the controvery that sparked when he posted this photo of his new tattoo on Twitter, and how everyone speculated about the contents of a plastic bag on the table in the background.

Beasley has had issues like this before, like when this photo surfaced prior to his rookie season with Mario Chalmers smoking what was also suspected to be marijuana. Then there was also the incident at the league's rookie symposium where he was fined $50K.

So it's understandable that Beasley would want to (or be forced to) go to rehab for drug abuse. The part that caught me by surprise even more was the fact that he was also going in to battle a bout with depression. This one I should have caught, because I saw the tweets that Beasley posted a few days back (there's a screen grab below of the them, courtesy of the Detroit Free Press)

This is what should be more alarming, and should be the media's focus when writing about Beasley in the near future. Plenty of athletes use drugs (I'm looking at you, Ricky Williams), it's no surprise to any one, really. However, when an athlete is battling depression like this, to the point where he feels "like it's not worth livin," that should have everybody taken aback.

It's understandable that he would feel a little depressed, coming off a rocky rookie season, in which many jumped at the opportunities to call him a bust (already?). One in which he was fined multiple times by the Heat for minor infractions. One in which there was speculation that the Heat had given up on him and were looking to trade him. It's a lot to handle, mentally and emotionally, for someone who is still a kid.

Beasley, similar to my post about former-UM point guard Edwin Rios, has been given every chance to succeed at basketball in his life, and it would really be a shame to see that wasted. Before the draft, there was talk that Beasley still had maturing to do, as he had attended at least five different high schools in four years.

Obviously, he still has some maturing he needs to do and some issues that he needs to work out before he can succeed at the NBA level. Let's just hope that Beasley can work out those issues, because he is a very talented kid with a long career ahead of him if he can get his head on straight.

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