Miami Heat forward Michael Beasley has checked into a Houston rehabilitation program to address concerns over his emotional status and apparent drug use, two sources confirmed Monday.
Beasley, the second overall pick in the 2008 draft, has been in Houston for at least two weeks as part of the NBA’s substance abuse program.
“All I can tell you is that it’s true that Mike is in Houston, and he went there to work out,” said Bruce Shingler, Beasley’s longtime friend and live-in personal advisor. “Mike has had some issues. But as far as all of the rumors and stuff out there, I can’t tell you anything about that.”
Beasley’s mother, Fatima Smith, did not immediately return a call to her cellphone. Yahoo! Sports reported that Beasley would be under the guidance of former NBA coach John Lucas, who runs a center for professional athletes with substance abuse problems. Lucas also battled substance abuse as a player and coach in the league.
Heat spokesman Tim Donavan declined comment early Monday afternoon and league spokesman Tim Frank was not immediately available for comment. Beasley has been linked to possible drug use on two occasions, with the most recent being controversial photo he recently posted on his Twitter account.
In the photo, Beasley displays his newest tattoo along his back. But in the background, there appeared to be two plastic bags beside a soda bottle. There was widespread Internet speculation that the two bags may have contained marijuana.
That photo, along with Twitter posts of Beasley suggesting that life wasn’t worth living, were taken down from the social networking site as of early Monday afternoon.
Beasley, 20, also was fined $50,000 last season for his involvement in an incident during the NBA’s rookie symposium program. Hotel security at a Rye Brook, N.Y., police resort investigated complaints of the scent of marijuana coming from a room occupied by Beasley and two other players, including Heat teammate Mario Chalmers. Both Beasley and Chalmers also were repeatedly fined for minor rules violations by the Heat last season.
Beasley’s maturity and behavior have been questioned since he attended a string of at least five different high schools on his way to the NBA after one season at Kansas State.
Beasley averaged 13 points and five rebounds during his first season with the Heat and was named an NBA first-team All-Rookie selection.
It was not clear Monday how long Beasley would be required to remain in the substance abuse program. But Shingler said he spoke with Beasley on Sunday afternoon from Houston.
“This whole situation was supposed to be super G-14 classified, I think,” Shingler said. “He knows he’s got work to do. He’s a 20-year-old guy growing up in the NBA, with money and fame. It’s not easy. But all of this stuff that you hear isn’t what it seems like. That’s all I can tell you.”