Months ago | 27th August 2009 14:21
[quote:0b4f2d27cb]Michael Beasley's attendance at a Houston-area rehabilitation center had been scheduled for weeks and is connected to a violation the Miami Heat forward committed during last summer's NBA rookie transition program.
Beasley has been in Houston for at least the past two weeks to work out, attend counseling sessions and undergo clinical treatment to help him cope with stress and substance-abuse issues, multiple sources said Tuesday.
Relatives and associates closest to Beasley, 20, said Tuesday they did not know when he would be able to leave the rehab program.
But two sources with direct knowledge of the situation, including one who has been in contact with Beasley, said the troubled but talented player is expected to be available well before the start of the Heat's training camp Sept. 28, barring any setbacks.
Heat guard Dwyane Wade used his Twitter account Tuesday night to send a message of support to Beasley.
``Everyone say a prayer for our lil brother, but please don't judge the man,'' Wade wrote. ``[We] all make mistakes, beas i'm here if you need anything fam.''
Avoiding missteps has been a challenge for Beasley since the Heat selected him No. 2 overall in the 2008 Draft. Beasley quickly fell under league scrutiny last August when he was among three players caught in a hotel room with unauthorized guests amid the scent of marijuana during the league's annual rookie symposium. Beasley was fined $50,000 by the NBA and also has been routinely tested for drugs since the incident.
Details of Beasley's rehab stay emerged Monday. But more information surfaced Tuesday, including confirmation he is officially in the league's substance-abuse program and was required to travel to Houston for rehab.
There was initial speculation that Beasley had checked himself into the program after he was strongly advised to do so by the Heat. It remained unclear Tuesday how many drug tests Beasley might have failed in his rookie season.
The league mandates a suspension of at least five games after a third failed drug test. Another set of concerns about Beasley surfaced Friday, when he used his since-deleted Twitter account to post comments that included suicidal references as well as a photograph that revealed what appeared to be two small bags of marijuana on a living room table.
Citing an NBA rule that disallows them to address substance-abuse matters, Heat and NBA officials declined comment.
But several spoke on Beasley's behalf, including a league source who claimed reports of Beasley being treated for depression were overblown.
Beasley's estranged father also did several radio and TV interviews Tuesday to defend his son. Michael Beasley Sr. said the birth of Beasley's daughter in May and the pressure to live up to NBA expectations were taxing.
But the elder Beasley also said his son passed recent drug tests and that if there were drugs in the Twitter photo, they did not belong to his son.
``We're just trying to figure out the best way to come together as a family,'' Beasley Sr. told 790 The Ticket. ``I can imagine it's been overwhelming for him. I know he's been under a little stress.''
Beasley's father said he has reached out to former NBA player and coach John Lucas, who runs a substance-abuse program in Houston, but that the younger Beasley could not receive calls or visits.
Other relatives have talked to Beasley on the phone and some planned to visit him in Houston. But a league source said Beasley was not in a program run by Lucas.
Heat teammates Jermaine O'Neal and Mario Chalmers were supportive of Beasley, who averaged 13.9 points and 5.4 rebounds during a solid rookie season.
``What he is doing is not a negative as far as going to rehab, it's a blessing and a good thing,'' O'Neal posted on his Twitter account.
Chalmers, who was also fined by the league for his role alongside Beasley last summer, said he was surprised to learn Beasley was in a rehab facility.
``I hadn't talked to Mike in a couple of weeks,'' Chalmers said from Alaska in an interview Tuesday on Dime magazine's website. ``It kind of shocked me. But I'm sure he'll get through and he'll be fine.''[/quote:0b4f2d27cb]
I really hope that Michael Beasly doesn't turn out to be the Ricky Williams's version of the NBA!