A few days ago, Andy G recalled a late-night encounter with Michael Beasley on the streets of Minneapolis that he and Friend of Punch-Drunk Wolves Brian J had a few years back. Andy G recounted how the incident illustrated Beasley’s fierce loyalty to struggling teammate Jonny Flynn – a quality forgotten amid Beasley’s off-court problems and on-court lapses. Sebastian Telfair was also involved.
“Why can’t you just say you like Bassy? Why you gotta say you like him way more than Jonny?”
Those words were directed at my friend Brian, who had spent too much time in Kieren’s Irish Pub after a weeknight Wolves game in early 2011. We were headed home — me directly, Brian to his bus stop — when we came upon a slew of Timberwolves and Pacers hanging outside of Seven Steakhouse, presumably having finished dinner and waiting for their rides.
Brian decided that was a good time to accost Sebastian Telfair. Rather than just offer a high five and passing word of praise, Brian took the extra step of “bringing it in for the real thing,” and told Bassy that he liked him WAY MORE than Jonny Flynn. The implication was clearer than Brian’s speech delivery: Flynn was awful, and a great deal of Wolves fans preferred to see Telfair at point guard. (By the way, Sign Number 298,278,397,293 that your favorite team is Lottobound is when you like Bassy Telfair WAY MORE than the guy playing ahead of him and feel obliged to loudly proclaim as much publicly.)
As Brian delivered those Guiness-laced words, a tall young man in the group took issue. It was Michael Beasley. Mike was upset.
It would be an exaggeration to call this a confrontation. After all, Beasley didn’t mush Brian. But Beas made it known that ripping his teammate – even Flynn – was not cool.* So we walked on.
I’ve always been intrigued by Michael Beasley as a basketball player.
The incident on the street made me respect him as a teammate, and, to a lesser degree (and if only for a fleeting moment) as a person.
There were a half-dozen other NBA players there. All were within earshot. Only one stood up to the dipshit comment made by the drunk fan.
Players — especially teammates — are a fraternity. They should protect each other.
This was a harmless situation, but Beas was acting on principle – almost on instinct. He’s loyal.
Brian J’s account provides new information, additional nuance, and some intriguing analysis. We’re publishing it in full, below the fold: