Lakers’ Michael Beasley has ‘serenity’ amid challenging stretch of season
He has found his peace, and that is what has allowed Michael Beasley to accept his fate with the Lakers.
He doesn’t know when he’s going to play in a game these days, but Beasley still has stayed engaged.
Beasley played in his third consecutive game Friday night against the Dallas Mavericks at Staples Center, playing only five minutes during the Lakers’ 114-103 win.
He didn’t score and didn’t take a shot. He had one rebound and one assist.
But for Beasley these days, that’s not the point in his mind.
“I stayed engaged the same way you [in the media] stayed engaged as a fan,” Beasley said. “I enjoy the game. I enjoy my teammates. God has granted me serenity a long time ago.”
Beasley hasn’t played much, but he has cheered on teammates.
He found himself mostly cheering against the Mavericks, especially for his benchmates.
Beasley liked what he saw from reserve center Tyson Chandler, who had 13 points on six-for-six shooting, and 12 rebounds.
Beasley liked what he saw from reserve guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, who had 13 points and was eight for 10 from the free-throw line to make up for his two-for-seven shooting from the field that included going one for six from three-point range.
“I just want to be here for my teammates,” Beasley said. “That’s what matters the most. We are all one team.”
Beasley went through a stretch in which he sat out 13 of 14 games, partly because of a family illness that called him away from the team. His only action during that time was in a blowout loss to the Orlando Magic. He played a season-high 13 minutes against Denver on Nov. 27.
He has played in only seven of the first 21 games for the Lakers. But he never complained.
Now that he’s getting his opportunity, no matter how small, Beasley is trying to make the best of things.
“I just keep it simple, play hard,” he said. “When you [mess] up, [mess] up hard.”
Beasley is averaging 4.0 points, the lowest of his 11-year career. He is shooting 50% from the field, making 10 of 20 shots and is 0 for 2 on three-pointers.
“He’s a professional,” coach Luke Walton said. “I tell everyone on our team, everyone is going to help us win games at some point in the season so we all need to be ready. We have a deep team and some nights it’s going to be one guy and another night it’ll be someone else. And I think he’s done a nice job of continuing to work.”
Beasley has been known as a scorer in the NBA — he averaged a career-high 19.2 points a game in 2010-11 with Minnesota — and that hasn’t changed.
But when asked what his role is with the Lakers, Beasley explained how he has evolved as a player and a person.
“I enjoy life,” Beasley said. “I enjoy life. Basketball is my job and my livelihood, but it doesn’t define me.”
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