Monday, August 24, 2009
Updated: August 25, 12:11 PM ET
Reports: Heat F Beasley goes into rehab
ESPN.com news services
MIAMI -- Michael Beasley told his personal manager several days ago that he was working out in Houston because it brought "a change of scenery" from Miami and Washington.
What happened next is a mystery, even to those who know Beasley best.
The Miami Heat forward checked into a Houston rehabilitation facility for treatment last week, two people briefed on the situation told The Associated Press on Monday. Each spoke on condition of anonymity because of privacy concerns; one said part of Beasley's treatment revolved around some stress-related issues, and both declined to say if Beasley was receiving drug or alcohol counseling.
"Based on what I'm getting right now, there's a bit of concern," Bruce Shingler, Beasley's manager, told The AP in a telephone interview. "I don't really know what's going on. I just know his mom is on her way to go see him in Houston. That's it. I'm still collecting a lot of information."
It's unknown how long Beasley will remain at the facility, or whether he will be available when the Heat open training camp on Sept. 28.
Shingler also said he wasn't sure how long Beasley has been in Houston, or specifically why that was his destination.
Yahoo! Sports first reported that Beasley had entered a rehab facility.
"From what I know, he was just getting ready for the upcoming season," Shingler said. "The last time I talked to him, everything was going well. All this rehab and all that, I was totally unaware. It all started as he wanted to go work out in a different place because he wanted to get away. Now this, I don't know what's going on."
The spiral appears to have started in earnest Friday, when a photo of the No. 2 pick in the 2008 NBA draft was posted to his Twitter account. In the photo Beasley displayed a new tattoo across his shoulders, and the image also captured what appeared to be a small plastic bag on an adjacent table. The contents of the bag were unclear.
Under the NBA's anti-drug rules, there are some instances in which a player who comes forward voluntarily to request help with a substance-abuse issue is not penalized as harshly as a player who randomly tests positive and is thereby forced to enter the treatment program. The NBA never discloses who is in its drug treatment program.
But that punishment mitigation does not extend to players who are already in the program, as Beasley was widely assumed to be after his expulsion from the rookie orientation program.
Beasley was already getting treatment when the photograph -- and several comments, including "Feelin like it's not worth livin!!!!!!! I'm done" and "I feel like the whole world is against me I can't win for losin" -- were posted on the feed.
Beasley's account has since been closed. Another account he used was shut down July 27.
"What Michael Jr. is going [through] is just a bump on the road we call life," said a posting Monday on Michael Beasley Sr.'s Twitter feed. "Please pray for him, he needs it."
A phone call to Beasley Sr.'s home in Bowie, Md., went unanswered.
Beasley finished his rookie season as Miami's second-leading scorer behind Dwyane Wade, averaging 13.9 points and 5.4 rebounds. He spent much of the year as a reserve, and both Heat coach Erik Spoelstra and team president Pat Riley talked often this summer about utilizing Beasley more this coming season at small forward and power forward.
"Beas, we hope that we're going to see a lot of him at the 3 spot," Riley said in a conference call with the team's beat writers earlier this month.
At times this past season, Beasley's immaturity was of some concern to teammates. He typically laughed off such criticism, saying he was young and acting accordingly.
"The guy's got a lot of talent," Wade told The AP during a July conversation on a number of topics, including Beasley's potential. "I can't wait to see what he does with it. He's 20 years old. I'd love to see it all come together this year."
Beasley's second season, much like his first pro year, is off to an ominous start.
Beasley was fined $50,000 by the NBA in September after security officers at the league's rookie symposium detected the scent of marijuana in a hotel room occupied by Beasley, Mario Chalmers, Darrell Arthur and two women. Chalmers and Arthur were fined $20,000; Beasley drew the stiffer fine for at first trying to hide his presence from NBA officials.
Beasley told The AP in January that there were times during his first six months as a professional that he felt "everyone was against me" and that many things "get blown out of proportion" -- referring specifically to the rookie symposium incident.
He spent one season at Kansas State before entering the draft, averaging 26.2 points and 12.4 rebounds in his lone college year.
"As a rule, I do not comment about the private lives of my student-athletes, either current or former," Kansas State coach Frank Martin said in a statement. "However, Michael, like every student-athlete I've coached, will always have my undying support."
Information from The Associated Press and ESPN.com NBA writer Chris Sheridan was used in this report.