The Los Angeles Lakers have a cast of characters this season.
Not only do we have Lonzo Ball and Kyle Kuzma who take jokes too far, but now we have new additions Lance Stephenson, Javale McGee and Michael Beasley. Their eclectic personalities make them fun to watch, and they’re all being led by LeBron James. In what will probably be the most interesting NBA locker during the 2018-19 season, Beasley, who just signed a one-year deal with the Lakers, doesn’t want people to think his new team isn’t about winning—he’s not with that narrative.
“For there to even be a narrative [about problems with] personalities in this room is judgment enough for me, and I just don’t want to be a part of it,” Beasley told the Los Angeles Times.
Basketball IQ won’t be a problem for Beasley, and he’s tired of people assuming he, and players like him, are portrayed that way.
“If everybody does their job right and stops judging some players, me mainly, you’ll figure out that guys like me and Nick Young and J.R. Smith and Lance Stephenson and guys like that, actually know how to play basketball, actually know how to win basketball games and actually know how to get along with others,” he said.
Beasley, Young, and Smith are known for their huge personalities, and over-the-top celebrations that may not always be in good taste. But Beasley knows a thing or two about being not being valued.
Heading into his 11th NBA season with his seventh franchise, Beasley, who was the second pick in the 2008 draft, has to prove himself in the NBA once again after stints in China. But with a breakout year in New York, where he averaged 13.2 points and has already played with James in Miami during the 2013-14 Finals run, Beasley is ready to compete at the highest level.
The 29-year-old is also pretty hyped to play for one of the greatest Lakers of all time, Magic Johnson.
“I mean, showtime. That’s Magic, you know?” Beasley said. “A guy I dreamed of meeting my whole life. So the chance to play for him, it’s surreal. … I was trying to keep my emotions professional, [but] I had to put the phone on mute once or twice.”