Malik Beasley Is Missing Basketball But Understands The Bigger Picture
We aren't closer to receiving any answers on when sports will return, but it was pleasant to hear from Timberwolves President of Basketball Operations Gersson Rosas and Timberwolves guard Malik Beasley on Wednesday afternoon.
The two held a virtual media availability via Zoom. This is the second availability the team has had. Earlier this month, Rosas and head coach Ryan Saunders addressed the media.
The cloud of Jacqueline Towns’ death is hanging over the Timberwolves’ organization, and that’s what Rosas addressed to start. COVID-19 hit home for the Timberwolves 10 days ago when it took the mother of Karl-Anthony Towns.
Teammates are texting and calling Towns. Beasley’s texted a handful of times, as has his mother. There have been team chapels and prayer services. But amidst all of this, the face-to-face element has been taken out of this and that’s made it even harder for everyone.
“It’s been terribly difficult. Anytime you lose somebody, especially somebody as important as a parent, you want to be there for them and you want to support them,” Rosas said. “We’ve tried really hard, anything and everything that we can to connect with Karl and his family. . . . It’s not the same. You can’t hug somebody; you can’t spend 1-on-1 time with them. You can’t help them through this pain in a physical, personal way. . . You just want to grab KAT, give him a hug and let him know that we’re here with him.”
Beasley’s family has unfortunately also been impacted by the virus. He had a family member on his mother’s side pass away recently while trying to battle COVID-19.
While Beasley has been getting in daily workouts, it’s been difficult for him to think about what might be ahead for the NBA during this uncertain and uncomfortable time.
“I’m not really worried about that right now,” Beasley said. “My main concern is my family and my son . . . We’re all trying to make sure we’re healthy.”
This has been the longest Beasley has been away from basketball since he was a baby and that’s probably similar for a lot of other players in the NBA.
It’s wild to think that it was more than a month since everything happened in Oklahoma City when the Jazz announced Rudy Gobert had tested positive for the virus. The Timberwolves were set to play the Thunder in Oklahoma City on Mar. 13, two days after the NBA announced the league would put the season on hold.
“We were supposed to go to OKC and be in that exact locker room,” Beasley said. “That’s what’s crazy and you just gotta be thankful we didn’t’ fly down there that night. It’s just crazy that we’re home right now.”
There has been a lot of talk lately about what will happen with the NBA. Will the league resume the 2019-20 season in a “bubble city” as some have reported? Could teams use practice facilities to play regular season and playoff games until fans can attend arenas again?
There’s no answer to that. And while Beasley is ready to get back to it, he understands the big picture.
“I’m ready to get to it,” Beasley said.
“Either way, I just want to make sure our health is fine. Basketball will always be there. I just gotta make sure we’re healthy.”