MINNEAPOLIS - Minnesota Timberwolves guard Malik Beasley spoke publicly on Wednesday for the first time since being arrested in September and charged in October in connection with an incident outside his Plymouth home.
Beasley offered no comment specifically on the case, as it’s an ongoing legal situation. He did say he’s working every day to make himself a better player on the court, and person off it.
“Control what I can control. I can control being able to learn from my mistakes, learn from the things that I’ve got to grow upon. Other than that, I’m just ready to get on the court and get the season going,” Beasley said.
Beasley was charged with threats of violence and drug possession in the September incident. He’s accused of pointing an assault rifle at the family who was on a Parade of Homes tour. He’s likely to face a suspension from the NBA due to the incident, but those details have not been announced.
When most organizations might part ways with an athlete who makes headlines for the wrong reasons, the Wolves are sticking by Beasley and letting the legal process play out. Front office head Gersson Rosas signed Beasley to a four-year, $60 million contract.
“Family is there in the good times and in the bad times. There’s things that happen that a lot of us don’t want to happen, a lot of it is how do we respond to that? Both as an organization and for Malik in particular. We’ve gone above and beyond to make sure that this is a situation that we address in the best way possible, supporting Malik and also creating an environment and a structure where we can grow, mature and develop,” Rosas said Wednesday.
Rosas brought Beasley to the Wolves before last year’s NBA trade deadline as part of a massive roster overhaul that included pairing D’Angelo Russell with Karl-Anthony Towns. The Wolves are hoping Beasley can be the third piece to that puzzle.
In 55 games last season, Beasley averaged 11.2 points and 2.7 rebounds per game while shooting 42.5 percent from the field, including 38.8 percent from the perimeter. But in 14 games as a starter with the Wolves, he averaged 20.7 points, 5.1 rebounds and shot 42.6 percent from three-point range before the NBA season was suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Wolves saw his potential on the court, and Rosas made his investment rather than let Beasley become a restricted free agent.
“I’m very thankful for Gersson and for the Timberwolves for giving me an opportunity in the first place. I’m very thankful for the opportunity, I’m going to take advantage of it. I’m going to put in the work and do what I have to do to lead the team to better outcomes,” Beasley said. “For me, I’ve just got to learn how to keep growing and keep being better on and off the court. We’ve got a good family around here, and that’s what I appreciate about the Timberwolves’ organization.”
With his new chance comes responsibility. He'll be expected to be a significant contributor on the court, and stay out of trouble off it.
Beasley was also recently featured in a TMZ article probing into his personal life. He’ll have to play through headlines, especially when they’re not positive.
“Being involved in professional sports, we understand what comes with that. We know we have responsibilities, and we’re continuing to focus on becoming better basketball players between the lines, but also becoming better outside the lines too,” Timberwolves coach Ryan Saunders said.