Along with yesterday's news that Michael Beasley's stay in a Houston rehab was scheduled in advance as part of his league-mandated participation in a substance abuse program came a lot of press about his Twitter meltdown, and what the whole affair means for the Heat as a franchise. If Dwyane Wade is the Heat's now, 2nd-round pick Beasley is to be its future - a future that may not reach its full potential if Beasley can't get ahold of whatever issues caused his apparent meltdown.
Of course, if the stay was planned as punishment for the rookie symposium marijuana incident, where does the depression come in? If they aren't just rumor and speculation, how deep-rooted are the satellite issues? Do we even know enough to say?
It's unlikely that we'll ever know the whole truth in this situation, and that's perfectly fine. Though it's obvious that Beasley has issues to work through...the problems are his, and ultimately none of our business. The only certainty in all of this is that Michael's trade value has taken a hit, something Pat Riley and company are surely all too aware of. The rest of the chatter is little more than white noise.
If the depression part is true -- Beasley's estranged father said his son is struggling emotionally -- then it's a little more than white noise, even if it's not our place to chatter about it. Depression is a serious medical condition with potentially heavy consequences. Just a coincidence, then, that he can be treated for that while attending rehab as ordered? Free Darko wonders why the NBA requires rehab for hotboxing in a hotel room anyway, and if its the best place to deal with other issues:
This a ton of wasted resources, breath, and bed space for a kid whose long-term mental health — whatever its current state — would probably benefit from a vacation and some trips to a psychologist. Threatening and intimidating Beasley onto the straight and narrow by making him hear about men who lose everything and spend their mornings looking a vein ... it's an insult to Beasley, those addicts, and anyone who ends up working on his 'case.'...Maybe I'm out of touch with the treatment of addiction, or the best way to deal with a recreational drug user whose behavioral issues only matter because he's a gigantic business asset. It's just hard for me to read this stuff and not laugh at the whole thing, while feeling a little bad for Beasley — who might have missed out on a chance for an appropriate, not nuclear-level, intervention.
It's a good point, and it's hard to imagine a scenario in which suffering through such things publicly doesn't make it more difficult. And of the two -- pot use and depression -- it's certainly the former which is the more urgent. True Hoop agrees:
Beasley's Michael Phelps moment does not matter a bit to me. Except for two things: The scary things Beasley has been feeling and the serious help he has sought. Instead of learning that something goofy has happened with a young athlete and some internet technology, we are apparently learning instead that one of the NBA's better known players is having a terrible time... maybe he never should have been trotted out there as a gladiator to entertain us. Maybe before all that, he should had some serious treatment, and we all just did a miserable job interpreting the many signs.
Hopefully, the publicity won't make that terrible time worse. As his live-in advisor Bruce Shingler told the Herald, "This whole situation was supposed to be super G-14 classified. He knows he's got work to do. He's a 20-year-old guy growing up in the NBA, with money and fame. It's not easy.''
So where should that leave us? Clearly, as fans, we're concerned about the Heat's future, especially if Wade opts out in 2010. But let's go with Heat Daily:
Training camp starts soon. We know Beasley has been training hard this summer to get better, but his mind is a lot more important than his physique at this point. Let's wish Beas the best in recovering and coming back stronger and happier to our team.
Since it's not our business, we don't have much of a choice. And anyway, we all just wanna be like Wade, who Twittered:
Everyone say a prayer for our lil brother,but please don't judge the man. we all make mistakes,beas i'm here if you need anything fam.