Beasley Draft Press Conference - June 27, 2008

Courtesy of Miami Heat Media Relations

Pat Riley


Opening Statement

“I’m excited about this whole thing because we will never ever draft a number one or a number two again because we’re going to win. There will be no more lottery picks we hope in your career Michael and we can assure you that we are on the right path with that specific goal. This just didn’t start last night. I noticed when Michael came in today and especially after talking to him last night about 10:30 or 11:00, he was boisterous, he was up, he was enthusiastic, he was happy. Today he’s a little bit down. It sort of reminds me a little bit of when we won the championship in 2006 and there was all the excitement and champagne, that all-night ride coming back, and the next day all we wanted to do was sleep. It’s okay to have those feelings today of relief because what I think these kids go through are unlike any of the experiences that I’ve ever had go through when I was drafted. It’s more than three or four months of these expectations, pressure, constant scrutinization above and beyond and it’s a remarkable experience but one day it comes to an end because you do get selected and Michael Beasley is the best basketball player in college basketball. We are very privileged to be able to draft him last night. Somewhere around March 1 when I was in the deep depths of depression because of our record and not being very happy with, obviously, how we were going as a team. I began to watch Michael. I began to scout Michael. We began to discuss Michael Beasley. We began to watch film, constantly talked to people about him and doing our due diligence about what you have to do as an organization and last night it culminated in us, without any doubt, making the pick. I can remember being with Michael in Orlando, the first opportunity I had to speak with Michael, and I said to him one thing. I said, “Don’t believe anything you’re going to read in the press. Now this has nothing to do with whether or not the press is honest or dishonest but don’t believe anything you go to read in the press because this process is all part of what’s going to happen on the 26th.” It is a business. I’m hired to sort of take a look at the big picture and the big picture was Michael Beasley for us all along. I’m just proud today to announce that we have drafted obviously and we are happy to have Michael Beasley as a member of the Miami HEAT and hope we have him here for 15 or 20 years. However long he will play.”


Michael Beasley


Opening Statement


“It’s a great organization. I’m happy to be here. It’s a great organization. Great coaches, great players and great fans so let’s get us another championship.”


On whether being selected is unnerving

“Yeah it is. I knew that I might be the number one or number two pick for a long time but reality set in and my life is changing. I am a little surprised.”


On how sure he was that he was coming to the HEAT after being drafted


“Coach told me not to listen to the media. It was kind of hard not to with all that’s been said and all that’s been shown. I was just hoping to let it all play out to my favor and to the HEAT’s favor and it did. I wasn’t even worried about maturity. I wasn’t thinking about it. I’m real happy to be here.”


On whether he wished he could have been the number one pick


“I’m very competitive but it worked out for the best. I just have to prove to every team, every coach that I am the best player in the draft.”


On if he has any background with Dwyane Wade and if it would be beneficial to play alongside him


“I’ve grown up watching Dwyane Wade and he’s just a great player. Won a championship, Finals MVP, and it’s a dream come true to even be in the same organization as a player like Dwyane Wade. I’ve never spoken with Dwyane. I would love to. We’ve just never crossed paths.”


On his mindset toward helping the HEAT win


“I’m just going to bring it every day. Work hard, just try my best to be a team player. Do whatever the coach needs, do whatever the team needs.”


On playing with Mario Chalmers


“He’s a great player, a great point guard. There is some tension with him being a Jayhawk and all, but we’re going to have to get over it.”


On what his expectations were at Kansas State and now with the Miami HEAT


“Honestly, I knew I was going to have a good year. Didn’t know it was going to be as good as it was but I worked hard enough and I still work hard today. I just want to come to the organization and be an impact player and I want to make an impact early. I would like to be the go-to guy’ but I’m just going to play hard and do whatever the team needs, loose balls and rebounds, stuff like that.”


On if he’s going to bring joy to the game as a professional

“Yes. It’s a business and it’s my job now but I think in order to do what you do well, you have to love your job. I think basketball is the funnest thing in the world to do and as long as I continue to play, I’m going to smile every day and just play like that.”


Randy Pfund


On how Coach Riley was convinced to take Beasley


“I don’t need to go into that conversation because we have conversations every day where we give our opinions. That’s what we do and our scouting staff, that’s our job. We just did our job. I think it’s very interesting because a lot of young men sit up and talk about what they’d like to do, what kind of potential...I went out to Manhattan, Kansas on a very cold night, February 6, and walked out of there having watched a guy get 35 (points) and 13 (rebounds). I went back about a month later on Senior Night and that was an unusual night. I was telling him a few minutes ago, one of the players on his team, Clent Stewart, his mother had passed away during the season. A very emotional night, it was Senior Night and I remember watching Michael. A lot of times you can tell a lot about people with how they react when other people are being honored. I remember I watched him that night. He enjoyed that night with the senior members of his team. I could see him clapping, supporting them and then he went out and got 33 and 14 that night so this guy has done it. This is not a potential type of thing. This guy has proved at the college basketball level that he can do it each and every night and I think that’s very, very impressive. I think he’s going to bring that to the NBA. Obviously, he knows he’s got to fit into a team. He’s got to learn how to be a professional but this guy is a very talented basketball player. I’ve watched a lot of basketball games with Adam (Simon) and we go to Serbia and we watch McDonald’s All-American games. This guy is a great player. I got a little nervous that night though Michael because one of your teammates proposed. I went to the restroom for that. I got a little nervous.”


Erik Spoelstra


On the lineup possibilities after the addition of Beasley


“Not just my mind, but in the coaches office today, all the coaches came in and said, “We can do this, we can do this, we could put this guy here.” Obviously we’re thrilled about the opportunity and what lies ahead but it fits into our philosophy. Michael’s game is something that we’ve already succeeded with in the past and it fits with our best player who is Dwyane Wade so now it’s just a matter of continuing to add pieces to what we have this summer and we’re really looking forward to the future.”


On how he and Beasley were connecting during lunch together


“Several different things. Really, that’s just a part of getting to know each other and it’s really a great opportunity to do that. We spent over 24 hours together with breakfast, lunch, dinner, and we had an opportunity to work Michael out twice which really gave us a hands-on look at him and see what his work ethic is, and see how he reacts to coaching. It was a great opportunity. As far as lunch, that was just another level of getting to know him. He has such a magnetic personality. He really does and I mentioned last night he’s got the million dollar smile and he’s like a rock star coming into Miami but he really is an engaging person and a delightful young man.”


Pat Riley


“Another thing about that lunch...we had a trivia game and one of the questions was, “Who was the number one pick in 1998?” and he’s the only one that got it. Michael Olowokandi. Nobody else knew it. He has a history for the game.”


Michael Beasley


On when he started to look at NBA players as his peers


“I still don’t. There’s a lot of great players in this league that I’ve been looking up to since I can remember and just to be on the same floor as them, I haven’t really grasped that or thought that but I think I’ll adjust pretty well.”


Randy Pfund


On his evaluation of Beasley’s personality


“We do a lot of research and talk to a lot of people and every player has a list of things, whether it be medical situations that can range in all kinds of different areas and there wasn’t anything at all that came into this situation that gave us a pause in terms of what kind of a player this guy is, how he performed. We had a lot of discussions with coaches and teammates that were with him for over a month last year in Serbia and we do this for every player. There was a lot made of Michael because he was the best player in the country and from that standpoint, we were very comfortable with evaluating him as a basketball player and what he could do on the floor.”


Michael Beasley


On whether he has spoken to his former college coach Frank Martin about the city of Miami


“Coach just tells me to stay out of South Beach. He’s a great coach, great person. He tells me all the time, “Just go try a Cuban sandwich”, or something like that. He just told me to have fun and stay out of trouble.”


On whether he’s ever not been the best player on a team and if he’s ever been overwhelmed by talent around him


“I was on an AAU team with Nolan Smith and Austin Freeman and Julian Vaughn, three All-Americans right there, pretty talented guys. I was on a college basketball team with Bill Walker. A USA team, Donte Greene, Johnny Flynn, DeAndre Jordan, players like that so I’ve been surrounded by talent a lot these past couple years, obviously NBA talent and I always feel overwhelmed and privileged to play with the guys I grew up playing with and it’s going to continue.”


Pat Riley


On his expectations for Mario Chalmers


“To give you sort of a statistic, we have our own mock drafts we put them together on a regular basis. There were 35 different mock drafts over the last month by all the most esteemed, influential, knowledgeable writers that cover the NBA and also other people, other organizations, and out of 35 mock drafts, Mario was in the first round in 33 of them. He was picked to go below 20 in 21 of the 35 and he was picked in six of them to be a lottery selection. What happens in the draft sometimes is that all the teams have an idea about who they’re going to pick and they’ve done so much work that from 10 to 18 or 20, there’s a possibility that all of a sudden, somebody begins to slip and people at 20 through 30 are already honed in on somebody else and they don’t pay much attention to it. We picked him very high, we rated him very high and he’s another what we call perfect fit for us. He’s a defender, he’s a combination guard. He can shoot the three. He had more steals in his career than he had turnovers. He doesn’t make a lot of mistakes. He told me last night that he can’t wait to get Michael out on the court in a one-on-one game finally, just the two of them. That’s going to happen next Wednesday. That’s going to start our summer league. We were just very fortunate. Chet (Kammerer) and Adam (Simon) and Randy (Pfund) who have watched him play just were a little bit beside themselves that the kid kept dropping and dropping and dropping so we felt very fortunate to be able to draft him in the second round and we have a legitimate perfect fit for the HEAT.”


Erik Spoelstra


On what Beasley means to him and the city of Miami


“Kind of what I said before, he’s a dynamic presence coming into Miami and obviously the talent is there. We’ve all scouted, watched him play and it’s an incredible combination of power, speed, agility, and he can score in a variety of different ways. He can score in the low post which we need desperately and also he can score on drives and stretch the defense out from the perimeter so as a young coach going forward, obviously you want to get the best pieces you can on a team. It solidifies a piece that’s very important to our philosophy and we’ve always built inside-out and we already have one of the most dynamic playmakers obviously in Dwyane Wade on the perimeter and now, moving forward with two anchor pieces, it’s exciting. It’s exciting for the people of Miami and it’s exciting for the organization to get a first-class individual who’s coming to a first-class organization. As a young coach moving forward, I’m nothing but thrilled.”