Beasley Season: How I Learned To Stop Worrying About Porzingis And Love The Walking Bucket

In the midst of a full-blown season tank, Knicks fans need reasons to continue tuning in. Enter The Beas.

Kristaps Porzingis is gone, tearing his ACL in the last home game against the Bucks, and with him, all the hope the Knicks had for their first playoff berth since 2013. Both his production on the court and his role as team leader are impossible for any one person to replicate, and as such, the only logical course of action for the organization would be to flush the rest of the season away in the hopes of snaring a high draft pick and rebooting next season. All we can do is develop our young players, and hope like hell that Porzingis' rehab goes smoothly. 

It's difficult to sugar-coat these rough times ahead when you cross-examine the rest of the Knicks minus KP. It's a team with some interesting young assets and role-players, but it's hard to sell anyone but maybe the most devout Knicks fans on why they should use their free time to watch New York do their thing. Frank Ntilikina is a unique prospect that's shown flashes of a diverse skill set, but they're still just flashes. Tim Hardaway Jr. can be basketball crack when he's in the zone, but when he isn't, it feels like the worst kind of withdrawal. Enes Kanter is our best center since Tyson Chandler, and has been superb in helping to restore a winning culture in New York, but is still a flawed player who doesn't get much time in the fourth quarter. From a sports-as-entertainment perspective, there are very few actual tangible reasons for watching the Knicks at this point. With that being said, i'll still be watching every game from now until the rest of the season with a different kind of glee. The kind of madcap, anarchic glee that occurs when you give Michael Beasley 30 minutes a game.

Whether you love him or hate him, Michael Beasley wholly represents the idea that we first watch sports to escape from the doldrums of existence. Having a sense of pride/identity in your chosen team and the thrill of winning is great, but that comes after your brain is initially tickled by the on-screen product. If there's one thing Beasley does consistently (and let's face it, there's not many), it's entertaining.

First of all, he's a damn talented player. It's already been pointed out that The Beas has three 30-point games so far this season while Carmelo Anthony has zero, which is a telling stat in itself. Sure, Melo is playing third fiddle to Westbrook and Paul George in OKC, but he's still trying to be the same player he was in New York, jacking up shots ad nauseam. Only now, Michael Beasley is that guy, and he's doing a better job of it. His Per 36 Mins stats are nothing to sniff at, averaging 21.6 ppg with 7 rebounds. Even though he's mostly come off the bench as a Knick when given the opportunity to close out games he usually excels. One such notable highlight occurred when New York played the #1 seeded Boston, and with Porzingis having a poor 1-11 shooting night, Beasley entered the fray and immediately dominated, scoring 32 points along with 12 rebounds to give the Knicks the eventual win.

But The Beas is also a flawed player, which is why I'm unconcerned with him accidentally winning games now that New York are in full tank mode. He can score and grab rebounds, but not much else, and that extends to playing defense. Sure, he'll have the odd moment where he sticks to his man long enough to swipe the ball away, averaging at least one steal per game throughout his career, but he regularly blows easy rotations leading to dumbass fouls (he's currently on 4.3 PF's per game for the season). Even on offense (easily The Beas' biggest strength), he continues to have brain farts, as he turns the ball over 4.5 times per game. 

Finally, The Beas is entertainment not only as a player, but as a person. His propensity for being a quote goldmine is well-known, especially after the infamous "people use only 10% of their brain" interview (the sweatshirt he wears in this, obviously custom-made, is also brilliant). It's not unusual for him to wear three watches, one on each arm and the final one on his ankle. Not only did he give himself the nickname "walking bucket", he gave himself a nickname for his nickname, per this interview with the New York Post.

The Knicks are tanking, and they need a Tank Commander. Why not Beasley? Give him the ball and let him go for 30; he'll either get there and give up just as many points on the defensive end, or he won't and the Knicks are still guaranteed a loss. Which in the endgame context of tanking, is still a win. 

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