I’m watching Pardon the Interruption on ESPN and I hear a quote from Michael Beasley who is now a recently signed free agent by the Phoenix Suns. Michael Beasley, aka Be-Easy, declared to the National Basketball Association he is guaranteeing to be an all-star next season. To those who are unaware of who this player is, he is a former #2 pick in the 2008 NBA draft, selected right behind Chicago Bulls star player and former MVP Derrick Rose. Beasley, highly criticized for not playing up to his potential is being given a fresh start with the Suns to become the star player he seems determined to become.
When asked who my favorite player is my patented response remains, “I don’t have a favorite player; I follow certain types of players.” These are my types-of-players.
- The “gym rat”. He simply loves to play and be around the game of basketball. The ballplayers from my neighborhood have a saying, “if the gym had a cot to sleep and a fridge to eat we’d live in the gym.” Chances are, if you hear the bouncing of a basketball or the squeaking of tennis shoes, you’ll find the gym rat.
- The “baller”. He loves being that guy: the one who has the ball in his hands at the end of the game. This player doesn’t shy away from the big moment, he goes and finds it. He plays to win every time he steps on the basketball court. It doesn’t matter if it’s against the school for the blind or Michael Jordan himself.
- The “knuckle-head”. Immature, unreliable, potential. He just doesn’t seem to get that some of us have worked really hard to get to the position where we are and the game should be taken seriously. For this individual it is hard to take seriously what comes so easy (see, Mr. ‘Be-Easy’ up top). Putting the ball in the basket comes as easy as blowing one’s nose (unless you’re 4 years old and prefer your sleeve).
- The “player”. He is often without a distinct position because he does a little bit of this and a little bit of that. This is the guy you simply put on the court and allow to play because he makes things happen, sometimes driving coaches and fans crazy in the process. This guy has a hard time staying within the play but always finds himself at the center of it for better or for worst.
They love to be on the basketball court because if it wasn’t for the court they would more than likely be somewhere you’d rather not. For them the court is a sanctuary, a place of refuge and solace where as long as the ball is in their hands they have prestige. Their economic status and home situation don’t matter, and all that does is this moment where they find peace with their world.
You’ve seen them on the court before. They are always there trash-talking and ball hogging and calling “NEXT!” out loud as they approach, anticipating the sweet move they’ll put on their unsuspecting defender, seeing the ball sail through the net, causing the audience to “ooh and ah” from the sidelines, all is right in their world. There are many guys in the NBA that fit into these descriptions of my favorite ‘types-of-players’ which is why I love watching this game. For now I simply focus on Mr. Beasley, highly talented and undervalued, simply calling out ‘NEXT!’ ready to receive the rock for his moment to shine. Rest assure I’ll be watching him put that sweet move on his defender as I ooh and ah and all will be right in the world as that rock goes through the net. So, all-star. I’m a believer. Main attraction. Be-Easy. I’ll be watching. I’ll be grinning, as I root for my type of player as you hoop for you, your team and for me and all will be right in our world.