Michael Beasley doesn’t have a museum in his honor, or a starring role in a musical about himself yet, but he is following in Stephon Marbury’s footsteps by experiencing great success in China. On Monday, Beasley was named foreign MVP of the China Basketball Association, this after being named the MVP of that league’s all-star game.
The No. 2 overall pick in the 2008 NBA draft, Beasley averaged 31.9 points, 13.2 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 2.0 steals for the Shandong Golden Stars. In January’s all-star game, the 6-9 forward racked up 63 points, breaking his own record of 59 set the previous year, and added 19 rebounds and 13 assists.
With Shandong’s season over, Beasley can return to the NBA, which is what happened in 2015. Following a stint with the CBA’s Shanghai Sharks, Beasley joined the Miami Heat, which had drafted him before trading him away two seasons later to clear salary cap space for LeBron James.
“You don’t really realize you’re alone until stuff is not getting done. I had to learn how to be an adult,” Beasley told The Washington Post last year of his time in China. “I’ve never been myself. I’ve always been enabled. And not in a bad way, I’ve always been helped. I’ve always had someone doing things for me. I’ve found comfort in being alone. I still have friends. But the sanctity of my own thoughts are very comforting.”
ESPN’s Marc Stein posted this report Monday:
“A clutch of NBA teams, I’m told, are tracking Michael Beasley as he nears a return from China. Last seen in the NBA last season with Miami, Beasley has played his way into contention for a late-season contract back home after a strong season in which he’s established himself a 40-plus percent shooter from three-point range while leading Shandong to the playoffs for the first time in more than a half-decade with a slew of gaudy numbers.”
In 24 games with the Heat last year, Beasley averaged 21.0 minutes, 8.8 points, 3.7 rebounds, 1.3 assists and a .434 shooting percentage. Still just 27, his best NBA season came in 2010-11, when Beasley averaged 19.2 points and 5.6 rebounds for the Minnesota Timberwolves.
The CBA’s domestic MVP was another former NBA player, Yi Jianlian of the Guangdong Southern Tigers, who took that honor for the fourth straight year after averaging 26.4 points, 9.3 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.3 blocks.