Since joining the Knicks this offseason, Michael Beasley has said some pretty strange things. Over the last couple weeks, in particular, the new Knicks forward has talked about everything from why he wears wristwatches on his ankle to why he’s confused over the whole "humans only use 10 percent of their brains" concept.
But he may have said the strangest thing yet during a recent interview with Bleacher Report. While talking about how he’s a changed man after enduring a series of personal and legal setbacks through the early part of his NBA career, Beasley was asked about why he thinks he never developed into the type of player many people expected him to be when he was selected No. 2 overall by the Heat in the 2008 NBA Draft. And Beasley said that part of the problem for him has always been perception. Because he has often struggled to keep his name out of the news for things that he’s done off the court, he believes it has hurt his reputation on it. And he thinks that, if not for the negative news, he would be considered one of the best players in the NBA today, right up there with the greats who grace the court every night.
"[It’s] mostly perception," he said. "As far as talent wise, I match up with Kevin [Durant], LeBron [James]. I match up with the best guys in the world. I’m not being cocky; it’s just always how I felt. But I got into trouble as soon as I got into the NBA, and it left a bad taste in a lot of people’s mouths."
Beasley isn’t wrong about his perception playing a part in the way people compare him to other NBA players. The perception is that Beasley was a bit of a bust as a No. 2 overall pick, and it’ll always be hard for him to shake that. His career stats—12.6 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 1.3 assists per game—also don’t suggest that he’s as talented as he thinks he is.
But good news: Beasley is going to be playing on a Knicks team this season that is expected to stink. So if Beasley—who is still relatively young at just 28—is able to make the Knicks look even slightly competitive over the next six months, it could go a long way towards changing the way people perceive him. He’s going to need to do more than just say and do strange things, though, if he wants people to do anything other than laugh when he compares himself to the KDs and LeBrons of the world.