Michael Beasley vows new Lakers will 'come together'

ByOhm Youngmisuk ESPN logo
Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Michael Beasley defended the array of personalities the Los Angeles Lakers have added around LeBron James this offseason and said Monday that he doesn't like the idea of people judging them on their personas or reputations.

"I think it is going to come together like a basketball team," Beasley said on a conference call when asked how he thinks the Lakers will mesh with the new additions. "You got [14] guys other than LeBron James that know how to play basketball, and I think you got 29 teams that [are] overlooking the fact that they know how to play basketball."

After James agreed to join the Lakers, president of basketball operations Magic Johnson and general manager Rob Pelinka added Rajon Rondo, Lance Stephenson, JaVale McGee and Beasley in free agency.

Johnson wanted to add veteran toughness, playoff experience, defense, basketball IQ and multiple offensive weapons.

Rondo, Stephenson, McGee and Beasley also bring some colorful personalities and characters to the Lakers' locker room.

Beasley bristled at the notion of the Lakers' chemistry becoming an issue.

"For there to even be a narrative of the personalities in this room is judgment enough for me, and I don't want to be a part of that," Beasley said.

"You being a critic doing your job, [if] everybody do their job and stop judging a lot of players -- me mainly -- you will figure out that guys like me, Nick Young, JR Smith and Lance Stephenson and guys like that know how to play basketball and win basketball games, know how to get along with others. It is nothing to do with my maturity."

The No. 2 overall pick in 2008 averaged 13.2 points and 5.6 rebounds while shooting 50.7 percent from the field and 39.5 percent from behind the 3-point arc for the Knicks last season.

Going into his 11th season, Beasley said he is not entering camp concerned about minutes or his role. He just wants to help the Lakers win.

"Just be myself," Beasley said of what the Lakers want from him. "I come in here and try to help the young guys and put the ball in the basket."

"Use my abilities," he added. "Don't be shy about being myself."

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