Michael Beasley took strong exception to Stephen A. Smith for bringing up his past issues with marijuana, and fired back at the ESPN host by calling him “a liar” who has created tales about relationships with players.
Explaining that he cleaned up his act five years ago for the sake of his daughter, Beasley said Smith was continuing an unfair narrative by saying on the radio that the Knicks forward is “smoking something.” Smith’s point – which he hammered home by saying the league needs to test Beasley for weed — was in response to Beasley’s comment two days earlier about himself and three other Knicks being capable of scoring 25 points apiece.
On a podcast with Slam Magazine, Beasley not only said Smith misinterpreted the quote (apparently he meant four players could score each 25 points on separate nights, not average it), but also claimed that the ESPN host has made bogus claims on the air.
“He’s a liar, bro,” Beasley said. “I love the words he uses, I love how adamant he is, especially when he’s wrong because if you’re not going to stand for yourself, who is going to stand for you? Cool. But it’s like literally, I’ve sat next to guys he was on the TV talking about, and (Smith’s) saying, ‘Man, I just got off the phone with this guy.’ And literally, I’m next to that guy he’s talking about, and he says, ‘Man, I’ve never even been in a room with Stephen A.’ Why does what you say have credibility when literally everybody knows you’re lying about it?”
Beasley, whose troubles with weed include being kicked out of the NBA’s Rookie Transition Program in 2008, said his anger towards Smith stems from having to explain marijuana to his children. Beasley also revealed how a video chat with his oldest daughter motivated him to change his behavior.
“The weed thing has been years removed. My daughter, my oldest child, is now eight. So I made it a conscious effort, or I made it really important to myself to clean my act up because in 2012 I was on Facetime with her, and she was only four at the time. And it was a bad connection,” Beasley said. “And she said, ‘Daddy, hold on, it says poor connection.’ And that right there, that’s a pretty big word for a four or five year old to be speaking. So that right there, I made it my duty to clean my act up. Because if she can read ‘connection,’ ‘marijuana’ is only one more syllable.”
“You can say whatever you want,” Beasley added about Smith, “but when you say my name and anything negative, A) that continuously paints the wrong perception of who I am as a person and who I am morally. And then B), I had to explain to my daughter what weed was. Is that my fault or was that his?. … I understand you have a job to do. I understand you have money to make and kids to feed, I don’t know if he has kids, but I do. And the more you paint me in a negative light, the less money I can make to feed those kids. And then on another step, to take it a step further: I have an eight-year-old, a seven-year-old and a six year-old and a six year-old. And they all read or write. And I have to explain to children, what weed is.”
In addition to the incident at the Rookie Transition Program, Beasley did a short stint in rehab in 2009, was ticketed for marijuana possession in 2011 and arrested for marijuana possession in 2013. He signed last month on a one-year deal with the Knicks, representing his sixth NBA team in as many years. In his first interview with reporters Tuesday, he confidently declared the Knicks could be the No. 5 or 6 seed in the Eastern Conference and, “With Tim Hardaway Jr., Carmelo Anthony, Kristaps Porzingis and myself [on the roster], those are four guys that can score 25 points per game.”
The last quote prompted Smith to say on the air, “”I instantly thought (Beasley) should’ve been tested … if I were the league office, I’d have him investigated and tested for weed now. I really do, I’d have someone over there at the Knicks practice facility or wherever the hell he was, he’d be putting something in a bottle for me right now. Something’s not right.”
Beasley was not happy.
“It’s unfair to me, it’s unfair to the Knicks,” Beasley said. “Because now the Knicks look dumb for signing a quote, unquote weed head. Let guys live.”