Riley: Beasley will be with Heat in camp
MIAMI -- Michael Beasley is in daily contact with the Miami Heat and is working out under the direction of team personnel, with plans of being with the team when training camp begins later this month.
We all have periods where things haven't gone our way for whatever reason, and we've all had an opportunity to grow. Because of what's happened in the past, we hope there's growth spurts for him.” -- Heat president Pat Riley, on Michael Beasley (above)
Speaking about Beasley for the first time since the 20-year-old entered a Houston rehabilitation facility last month, Heat president Pat Riley said Tuesday that he's "confident ... very confident" Beasley will have a strong season for Miami and insisted he still strongly believes in the No. 2 overall pick from the 2008 draft.
"I was told this by somebody: Every saint has a past and every sinner has a future," Riley said. "You can't put yourself above and beyond anybody. We all have periods where things haven't gone our way for whatever reason, and we've all had an opportunity to grow. Because of what's happened in the past, we hope there's growth spurts for him."
Riley could not reveal specifics about the manner of treatment Beasley is receiving, citing privacy concerns. Those close to Beasley, including his personal manager Bruce Shingler, have said repeatedly in recent weeks that they are not willing to discuss the exact details of the treatment.
Beasley checked into the Houston facility sometime around Aug. 20. A series of posts on his Twitter account raised many concerns about his well-being, including one entry that said "I feel like the whole world is against me I can't win for losin."
Several Heat teammates offered their support quickly through Twitter posts and reaching out to those in Beasley's circle. Riley said Dwyane Wade, the team's best player and the NBA's reigning scoring champion, was among the first Miami players to send Beasley a message.
"I'm not going to forgive anybody's transgressions just merely because they're 20 years old," Riley said. "I think when you become a professional basketball player, a lot of things come at you a lot quicker than normal. There's a lot of things you may be able to handle or not handle."
Beasley finished his rookie season as Miami's second-leading scorer behind Wade, averaging 13.9 points and 5.4 rebounds. The Heat plan for this season include using Beasley at both small forward and power forward, and Riley said that hasn't changed even though Beasley hasn't been around teammates for several weeks.
Riley said Beasley had between 21 and 28 workouts earlier this summer at the team facility with other members of the Heat's young core, including Daequan Cook and Mario Chalmers. Getting into 4-on-4 or 5-on-5 games in Houston, however, has been impossible, Riley said.
"He could be a major factor for our team," Riley said. "I'm going to continue to show that kind of belief and faith in him."
Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press
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