For the first time this season, the Miami Heat practiced Sunday with only 15 players on the roster.
Michael Beasley was one of them.
The cuts have been made, the team for opening night has been selected, and Beasley has his first victory of the season. He’s still in Miami. There was no guarantee that he would stick with the Heat, even after he decided to accept a one-year non-guaranteed contract. But when the team’s braintrust gathered Friday night to decide how many and which players to keep, Beasley remained in the mix.
So he’ll be there when the Heat get their rings and see their championship banner raised Tuesday night. Beasley won’t be getting a ring, of course. What he said he will get that night is inspiration to be a real part of one of those title-savoring parties sooner than later.
“We can’t play 82 games tomorrow and play a whole season in the next week,” Beasley said. “I’ll continue to work hard, continue to do my part, continue to gain the trust of my teammates. If I get that chance, I get that chance. Just trying to take it day by day.”
The trust part of that statement is vital to Beasley these days.
His first five NBA seasons were filled with tumult. His play has been inconsistent. Phoenix, which is expected to be a club that struggles mightily this season, is paying him $7 million to not wear a Suns uniform –he was bought out this summer, a few weeks after being arrested and charged with marijuana possession and possession of drug paraphernalia. It was the latest in a series of marijuana-involved incidents that have plagued his career.
He was asked after the preseason finale if winning the Heat trust again was a camp priority.
“Was? No. Still is,” Beasley said. “Getting the trust of my teammates and the trust of my coach, that’s really the only thing that matters.”
MAGIC: Will honor former All-Star Tracy McGrady during its regular season opener Nov. 1.
McGrady signed with the Magic in 2000 and played four seasons in Orlando. He led the Magic to three playoff appearances and scored a franchise-best 62 points against Washington in 2004.