By Jesse Marx
By Chris Parker
By Jake Rossen
By Jesse Marx
By Michelle LeBow
By Alleen Brown
By Maggie LaMaack
By CP Staff
"He's Sponge Bob-watching, Skittles-eating, iCarly-watching, he likes video games—that's Mike," Johnson says with a smile. "Really, just think of a kid and that's Mike."
That kid is also the father of two children of his own (look for the image of his daughter on Beasley's left inner bicep). But youth—or taste in television—rarely defines or equates to a man's level of success in professional sports. And Beasley's youthfulness is quickly redefining the hoops vibe in downtown Minneapolis.
"He's got a great human spirit about him and an enthusiasm for basketball, and he keeps the locker room together and light," says Rambis, a 14-year NBA vet who is at a loss to find an on-court comparison to Beasley's unique skill set. "He's always up, he's always energetic, and he brings that enthusiasm to this ball club."
"I was excited, coming to a young team, try and help this team grow," Beasley says. "It's one thing to come to a winning team. It's another thing to build a winning team. I want to be part of that process."
Beasley sees in himself a young man matured on the court of life.
"I'm a lot smarter than I was when I first came in the league, a lot wiser," Beasley says. "I'm not really a spur-of-the-moment type guy anymore. I plan my situations out and take life slow. That had been me my whole life, but when I got to the NBA it just didn't work."
But does the power forward hold fears about being part of a team that claims just a lone Western Conference Finals appearance in over two decades?
"No," Beasley says. "Me? I'm a player. I've never really been on a losing team, and I don't want to start. Our record's not that great right now, but I feel like once we put it together we can make a push for the playoffs. We hang in there. We're just a young team that doesn't really know how to finish games. I feel like once we can get over that hump we'll be a force to be reckoned with."