Former Timberwolves general manager David Kahn discusses Beasley:
“Michael’s issue then from a basketball standpoint wasn’t on the offensive end. Michael had a hard time on the defensive end. I think that wasn’t so much about Michael as the fact most of his basketball training was in the AAU system, (then) a brief time in college. My sense at the time was he didn’t play as much in Miami as he had hoped because of the challenges he faced defensively.
For the most part, a player who can’t defend usually has trouble with playing time or making a team. A coach needs you to defend.
“Offensively, he’s an incredibly gifted natural scorer. There isn’t any part of his game offensively he can’t do — shoot with range, drive, finish. He’s really smooth.’’
Everyone loves to score.
“It wasn’t necessarily one-on-one defense. So much of the NBA is defensive scheme, knowing where the ball is on the court, how a team plays its pick-and-roll. It’s not as simple as it looks and for Michael, it was the only hard part of the game. I don’t know the strides [Beasley’s made] since, but back then that was it.’’
I agree with this. It’s hard to defend off the ball. That’s probably one of the hardest things for a coach to teach a player. The I.Q. has to be there. Have to be alert. Have to have an understanding of what may happen next. You have to be in proper position and you have to talk.
You have to WANT to play defense.
Here’s the entire article via the New York Post.