Heat's Beasley Proud of His New Sobriety
"8-6-09. That's the date. I don't have it tattooed anywhere. I just have it tattooed up here,'' he said, tapping the side of his head. "8-6-09. It's a big day for me.''
Beasley, the Miami Heat's enigmatic, second-year power forward, is turning his summer of upheaval into his break-out season in the NBA, hoping to change the way people perceive him.
"I know it hasn't been a real long time yet -- a little over four months -- but I'm serious about this,'' he told Fanhouse before the Heat/Mavericks game Friday night. "This is a lifetime goal.''
Beasley, remember, is the same guy who spent much of August in a Houston rehab clinic, the guy whose Twitter account in the middle of August included a smoky picture of him showing off his latest tattoo, and in the background were two baggies that looked like they might contain marijuana. His Twitter account also contained some troubling messages that sounded like a guy suffering from depression.
Beasley, the No. 2 pick in the 2008 draft from Kansas State, came into the league with a wealth of talent but questions about his character. He was fined by the league even before reporting for his first training camp after being kicked out of the Rookie Orientation program. He and his roommate were found with marijuana in the room.
"After going through what I went through this summer, there was a perception of me that I just wanted to change. I also decided I could set an example for others, for kids growing up in a home with a mother addicted to drugs and alcohol, and a father the same way. Theyh need to know there's a better way to live.''
Beasley, in his first season as a starter, is averaging 15.4 points and 6.8 rebounds, beginning to become the player the Heat had hoped he would be. It might have something to do with the sobriety he now wears proudly.
"I just want to prove people wrong,'' he said. "So far, I've proven I can stay sober for four months and beyond."