National Basketball Association (NBA) player Michael Beasley told reporters his issues with marijuana are “a thing of the past,” and that he's ready to show his full potential with his new team, the Phoenix Suns.
According to the Associated Press, Beasley inked a three-year, $18 million contract with Phoenix on July 20, and then faced questions from reporters about his marijuana issues during a news conference the same day.
Beasley was cited for possessing marijuana in Minneapolis during his tenure with the Minnesota Timberwolves in 2011. The Washington, D.C. native also violated the NBA's drug policy and entered a treatment facility twice in 2009.
“I realize 10 minutes of feeling good is not really worth putting my life and my career and my legacy in jeopardy,” he said, “so I'm confident to say that part of my career, that part of my life, is over and won't be coming back.
“What happened, it happened. It happened in a growing process. I'm still a young man. I'm still learning today. The mistakes I made in the past are hopefully behind me. Hopefully, the Suns organization can be patient with my growing process. I'm just excited to get a start, excited to play basketball.”
Taken with the second overall pick in the 2008 NBA draft, Beasley was projected to develop into one of the premiere players in the league. The 6-foot-10-inch-tall forward has averaged 15 points per game in four years played, while scoring 30 or more points nine times throughout the last two seasons.
Beasley feels he’s now ready to take his game to the next level.
“I've really realized my potential,” said Beasley who credits former NBA player Norm Nixon for helping him set his priorities in order, according to AP. “I've really realized what I can do.”
Suns general manager Lance Blanks is just as convinced that Beasley is ready to reach his potential.
“Regardless of his past and regardless of any thoughts that people may have,” Blanks said, “we are excited, I know I am excited, to embrace everything he is about and most importantly wants to be as a Phoenix Sun.”