After missing seven of nine shots and scoring just eight points in his debut as a Phoenix Sun, Michael Beasley was asked if he made the first impression he was hoping for to Arizona sports fans.
No, it’s not but I’ll be here a long time,” Beasley said to a reporter. “Get used to me.”
Two weeks and eight games into the three-year, $18 million contract he signed in the off-season, getting used to Beasley isn’t getting any easier.
Sam Cassell. Luc Longley. Hedo Turkoglu. They are all examples of round-peg-in-a-square-hole Suns who didn’t last long in Arizona. Beasley should “get used” to the comparisons.
The fact that he seems disinterested and often downright lost on defense isn’t a surprise. That is a label that has followed him through three NBA stops. His outside shot has been spotty and attributable to a slump, but his drives to the basket often come up empty because they lack aggression and a willingness to engage in contact around the basket.
No bucket. No foul called. No change on the next possession. Uh oh.
Beasley is not really a power forward, not really a small forward and so far not really fitting in with the Suns.
The team’s penchant for slow starts dovetail with poor starts by Beasley. When he’s out of the lineup, the Suns play smarter and look better - because they are.
After missing 11 of his first 13 shots and taking a seat next to coach Alvin Gentry against the Bulls on Wednesday, Beasley watched Luis as Scola, Markieff Morris and PJ Tucker — who hasn’t played regularly in the NBA in six years — helped rally Phoenix from 18 down to force overtime.
Then Morris got hurt and Scola fouled out in the first minute of overtime. Beasley was back in the game — and the Suns were quickly out of it.
Forget about the fact that he was a No. 2 overall pick. That’s ancient history. Two of the highest draft picks in Suns history were Armon Gilliam and William Bedford. It happens. (Speaking of high draft picks, has anyone seen Wesley Johnson lately?).
Remember the team that drafted Beasley (Miami) was willing to take a second-round pick - the NBA equivalent of a sixth-rounder in NFL parlance - to get him out of town.
Minnesota couldn’t even get that much for Beasley when he was shopped around the league last year.
But Beasley is right. Suns fans should get used to him. For better or worse, he’ll be here for three years.
M-E-S-S, MESS, MESS, MESS
There is so much wrong with the New York Jets — from owner Woody Johnson to coach Rex Ryan on down — but apparently their inability to succeed this season has everything to do with the 33 times Tim Tebow has touched the football on offense this season.
That’s it, 33 times. Tebow has six passes and 27 rush attempts. The Jets’ punter, Robert Malone, has touched it 48 times. And if that was really the plan in New York - bring Tebow to town for the publicity and leave him sitting on a wall, encased in glass as a showpiece - then the Jets are getting their money’s worth.
The Giants and Eli Manning are, as Joe Namath likes to say “struggling.” But the New York papers are focused on unnamed teammates who think “terrible” Tim isn’t the answer to replace the ineffective Mark Sanchez.
You feel for Tebow, although he wanted New York, he embraced New York and now, well, he’s getting it.
For all his heroic deeds in Denver — and we’re finding out this year how good that Broncos team around him was — all his talents and hard work won’t make him a starting NFL quarterback.
There’s no shame in that — there are only 31 starting quarterbacks and even less who deserve the title — but his on-field abilities won’t match his off-field popularity.
Jerry Brown is a contributing columnist who appears every Sunday in the Tribune. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.