Beasley, like Durant, went second overall in the draft after a dominant freshman season in the Big 12 at Kansas State But three teams, some noted drug problems and an arrest later, Beasley's once-promising career seemed to hit an impasse this offseason. He was released by the Suns.
But Beasley, like Oden, found a welcoming home in Miami. A reclamation clinic. And, for now, it seems to have worked.
Beasley is only averaging 9.1 points and 3.7 rebounds per game, but it sounds like his life seems to finally be in order.
“Mike, a guy I grew up with, one of my best friends,” Durant said. “I'm just happy he's getting a chance again. He's learned from his mistakes, and those guys have taken him in and embraced him, forgot about his past, just let him go out and have fun playing basketball.”
All the talk on Wednesday will be about Durant against LeBron. But the makeovers of Oden and Beasley provide another interesting layer to this budding rivalry.