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No Bitter Rivalry Between Haslem, Beasley For Starting Position

Miami, 09/30 – If you think competition for the starting power forward spot between incumbent starter Udonis Haslem and second overall draft pick Michael Beasley will turn bitter – think again.

Beasley said after Monday morning’s practice at the AmericanAirlines Arena that both he and Haslem are on the same page. He also said the five-year veteran has been instrumental in his growth on the basketball court.

“He’s helping me a lot,” Beasley said. “He’s been here for (five) years. I’m just taking advice from a veteran. He knows where to be on the floor and what to do to win.”

If we have animosity… we’re teammates,” he continued. “That’s not going to work. I play my role as a rookie. I do what I’m supposed to do and he guides me under his wing. We don’t cross paths; we don’t bump heads – nothing like that.”

Beasley missed the morning practice session with a strained groin. Despite being out, both he and Haslem don’t feel he lost any ground in getting acclimated to the HEAT offensive and defensive systems. According to Beasley, he can learn just as much by watching from the sidelines.

“It was actually easier watching, picking it up,” he said.

Haslem concurs and also said if there’s ever a time for the rookie to miss practice, Monday was probably the best day.

“He has a pretty good basketball IQ,” he said, “and the stuff that we basically went over today was mostly stuff that he’s already done in Summer League, so he should know that stuff.”

I tell him to pay attention, ask him if he needs any help,” he continued. “For the most part, today was a good day for him to be out.”

Beasley is finding out the hard way that even a highly-touted first-year player like himself isn’t exempt from his rookie role. So what kind of hazing is he exposed to?

“I get towels and Gatorade. I eat last – that’s about it,” he said while smiling.

But even as a rookie, there are still some things that he holds on to.

“I still sing. They can’t take that away from me!”