Beasley works out with Heat

Updated: September 21, 2009, 3:51 PM ET
Associated Press

Beasley
Beasley

MIAMI -- Michael Beasley rejoined his Miami Heat teammates Monday following a monthlong stay in a rehabilitation facility to address substance abuse and other issues.

Beasley took part in a voluntary offseason workout and quickly drew rave reviews from coaches, many of whom were able to visit and work with him during the rehab stint. Heat coach Erik Spoelstra personally saw Beasley three times in the past month, and someone from the Heat staff was with the second-year forward daily.

"We want to bring him back to the family, bring him back in here," Spoelstra said. "We're 100 percent behind him. We've invested in him, not just financially but emotionally. We've spent a great deal of time with him this summer, trying to develop him on the court but also off the court. He's ready. He was excited to be back here."

Beasley, who starred at Kansas State for one season before jumping to the NBA, was not available for comment Monday. No specifics of his treatment have been offered, with both the Heat and people close to Beasley citing privacy concerns.

The No. 2 pick in the 2008 draft will be with the team when training camp opens officially on Sept. 29. Players kept in touch with Beasley through text messages and Twitter over the past month.

"I have no concern at all," Heat forward and captain Udonis Haslem said last week when asked about Beasley. "He's working out, he's staying in shape, he's keeping himself sharp. It's not like he doesn't know the plays and with Beas, if all else fails, he'll shoot it. So he'll be fine when he gets back."

Beasley entered an in-patient Houston facility sometime around Aug. 20. A series of posts on his Twitter account around that time sparked concern for his well-being, including entries that said "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."

He also was fined $50,000 last year for being a hotel room where the scent of marijuana was detected during the league's rookie symposium.

Through it all, the Heat -- from team president Pat Riley, to Spoelstra, to many teammates -- have insisted Beasley is still valued.

"We have great structure here within the franchise and I think what the NBA and everybody saw is that we're 100 percent behind him," Spoelstra said. "We were with him every step of the way and we're expecting great things from him this year."

Spoelstra said Beasley's summer was filled with plenty of on-court "work and development." He spent about two months working out in Miami before going to Houston, and since the end of last season has gotten quicker, plus added 10 pounds of muscle while maintaining a low body fat level.

Spoelstra said Beasley has already taken a team conditioning test and "blew it away ... he's in phenomenal shape."

"Physically, you'll see he looks different," Spoelstra said. "He's just bigger."

The Heat plan to ask him to play a bigger role, too.

Beasley finished his rookie season as Miami's second-leading scorer behind Dwyane Wade, averaging 13.9 points and 5.4 rebounds. The Heat envision Beasley as someone able to play at small forward at times this season, even after using him primarily at power forward a year ago.

"When you talk about a guy who's that talented, and then you really start to develop the fundamentals and the details of his game, you see dramatic improvements in a short period of time," Spoelstra said. "That's exciting."


Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press

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