WASHINGTON – Los Angeles Lakers 128-110 defeat in Washington Wizard’s hands on Sunday was not a total loss because Michael Beasley reunited the team on the bench at the beginning of the second half after being gone for the past week to spend time with his scary mom, Fatima Smith.
Beasley, who was native to Prince George County, Maryland, was in the area of the Lakers four-way itinerary rolled through the country’s capital. He participated in the game after his mother’s request, according to a spokesman, because his mother wanted to see the Lakers play personally.
He and his mother watched the first half from a suite before Beasley came out of the tunnel early in the third quarter to greet his teammates, which he has not been with since 8 December while he was on his family.
“It was very good to see Michael,” said Laker coach Luke Walton, who has kept regular communication with the 29-year-old forward during his multiple leaves absent this season. “In addition to watching the game we played, turn around and see him on the bench was a good moment.”
Sunday marked the 10th game this season Beasley did not play due to personal reasons.
LeBron James did not want to express specifically about Beasley’s situation based on respect for what he does not know and can not relate without having gone through it himself, but he shared Walton’s feelings about what it meant to get him around again.
“It’s gratifying to have our brother back, see a smile on his face,” said James of Beasley. “The game of basketball has done so much for him and because he can come from whatever he’s with, I know it’s a bright spot for him. I’m just trying to give him respect. I’m ready for him when he came back it’s safe, but it’s all family time. He knows he got my support. I’ve known Beas for a long time. “
Beasley is the only member of the Lakers with which James played as a team mate earlier. They were at Miami Heat 2013-14.
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Lakers signed Beasley, number 2 selects in the draft 2008, one year 3.5 million dollars in the offseason with his last roster pitch, partly for his score ability and also hoping his relationship with the childhood friend Kevin Durant could help attract the superstar from Golden State Warriors in the summer of 2019, according to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst.
While Beasley’s family time has a short chance of gaining momentum in the Lakers rotation – he’s on average a career-low 4.4 points in just 7.1 minutes per game – he has become one of the most popular locker-room figures in LA
“I was really happy [to see him],” Lakers rookie Moe Wagner said. “He is a really good guy, very good team guy … We are very close, so it’s not the same without him.”
“We know we all have family, we all know what he is going through” Kentavious Caldwell-Pope was added. “I feel that if one of us were in the same situation, he will reach out and do the same as what we did so I feel like being there just because he will help.”
James said he did not know when Beasley would resume the team on a more permanent basis.
“As a family, we all said in principle that he would take as much time as he needed,” James said. “He is professional and we are all his brothers and what he needs, we all support it.”
Walton was asked if Beasley’s situation did anything for his team when it came to putting basketball in the right place in the big planning of things.
“There is always a perspective to have,” said Walton. “I mean we take our jobs very seriously but we know there’s always a real life and that’s always the most important thing. We also know we’re lucky to have our jobs and we have a group that really likes each other and comes to but Michael goes on to see things in reality is more important than any basketball. “