Beasley has all the (interviewing) skills
After recently spending about 15 minutes with Michael Beasley, I can tell you this: he's going to be great. He has all the tools necessary to make it big.
And he'll be productive on the court as well.
I'm talking about Beasley's interview skills. Unless his mouth gets him in trouble and he begins muzzling himself (or gets muzzled by Pat Riley), reporters are going to love this guy.
His well-documented silliness was definitely there. Sometimes he broke out laughing for no apparent reason. But he also had a refreshing sense of candor that I hope stays with him throughout his career.
For instance, he's already penciled the Heat into the 2009 playoffs.
Chris Broussard: Miami, a lot of expectations this year. Do you think y'all are going to get back to the playoffs.
Michael Beasley: Yeah.
Broussard: It's that easy, huh? So it's more a matter of winning (in the playoffs), not getting there?
Beasley: Getting to the playoffs, I mean, it's not easy. Otherwise, we would have been there last year. But if we play together like we're supposed to, that's cake.
(He also told me he's better than Shawn Marion. But before you start any "team dissension rumors," know that he gave "The Matrix" tons of love and respect. He wasn't bragging at all. He just answered my question honestly.)
Broussard: Best small forward -- Michael Beasley or Shawn Marion?
Beasley: Come on, man (laughing).
Broussard: Are you playing power forward this year?
Beasley: I don't know what I'm playing. Hey Shawn, you my man. I'm sorry, but I've got to pick me (laughing). He's going to average more points than me though.
(Later, we started talking about his interests outside of basketball.)
Broussard: Do you have aspirations off the court, whether it be acting or comedy. I feel like you've got the personality for that.
Beasley: I could do anything. Hey, TV producers, movie producers, Sean John, anybody -- I'm the guy. I could act. I could sing. I could rap. Nah, I can't sing right now, or rap right now. Not happening.
Broussard: Can you rap better than Shaq?
Beasley: Oh, I can rap better than Shaq. This is like the sixth time (this summer) I said something about Shaq. I really don't want to get beat up, but I can rap better than Shaq.
Broussard: What did you think of his freestyle (about Kobe)?
Beasley: I think it was funny. I mean, him and Kobe played together so I don't know what they did on their free time but it was a great rap (laughs). No, it wasn't -- because he was talking about Kobe. Kobe, don't be mad at me. It was a good rap, I guess.
Broussard: The fact that (it was a freestyle and) he could flow on the beat for so long was pretty impressive.
Beasley: You think so? He kept stopping.
Broussard: He was stopping because he went with the chorus, so his freestyle was affected.
Beasley: You trying to get me beat up. Hey Shaq, he said all this. I ain't say this.
(Beasley said all this and more in a long, relaxed interview that should be up on video next week (Wednesday, I think) on some ESPN platform. Check it out when it drops, and let's hope "Beastley" doesn't lose his candor and fun-loving nature.)