The reports are out: Michael Beasley checked into an unidentified Houston hospital for rehabilitation purposes. Just when you thought the rookie only had skill-refining to worry about for the upcoming season, this happens. It seems that depression and potential substance abuse might be bigger issues the Miami Heat organization will have to worry about with their 2008 first-round draft pick.
After the infamous Twitter photo Beasley took of his new "SupercoolBeas" tattoo, the speculations flooded about the mysterious plastic baggies in the background. Whether it's true or not that Beasley possessed marijuana, we do not know for sure. We do know that he has been included in previous marijuana-related incidents (i.e. when Mario Chalmers was caught with marijuana at rookie camp) and that the series of tweets he posted before his Twitter account was deleted were on the fringe of suicidal.
So what does this mean for the young NBA athlete and the Miami Heat? Where do they go from here?
For one thing, Alonzo Mourning could play an influential role in this via his mentorship role in the organization. Beasley still needs to mature as a person and a professional, he's only 20 years old - not even old enough to buy an alcoholic drink legally. Essentially, you have social-psychological factors on one end and age on the other combining to create this problem. That's the best assumption that can be made from an outside perspective (we could be completely off since we don't know the kid). We can only hope that a bit of guidance can help Beasley get on the right track and refocus his life and career.
Many fans want to know how much this will effect his play on the court and that is a valid question to ponder. External, personal factors play a role in the lives of everyone, even professional athletes. It could be argued that the divorce issues that Shaquille O'Neal and Dwyane Wade each went through at home affected them in the 06-07 and 07-08 seasons. Emotions take a toll on people's careers and Beasley is not excluded from this.
What should be the real question is, does Beasley want to fix his life? The cliche goes, where there's a will there's a way and if Beasley has that passion, drive, desire, whatever you want to call it in him, then there are signs of hope for this situation to be corrected.
As fans, there should be respect for the kid and the situation he's going through right now, since the magnitude of it is still unknown. Name-calling and baseless criticisms will only make things worse. When someone writes "Feelin like it's not worth livin!!!!!!! I'm done," and "Y do I feel like the whole world is against me...I can't win for losin," it should be taken seriously and caution should be used.
You never know how serious people are when they say things like that. Even when you think someone is living the life in paradise, you never know when trouble is lurking behind the scenes.