Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
Michael Beasley got a taste of life in New York City Monday night when he appeared at the premiere of a basketball film at the Tribeca Film Festival.
Now the question is, Is Beasley headed to the Knicks in the upcoming NBA Draft?
“I love it,” the 6-foot-10 Beasley said of New York when asked if he would like to play for the Knicks. “New York is a great city.”
When Bobbito Garcia, the famed announcer at Rucker Park in Harlem, added “If the check is right…,” Beasley chimed in with, “I’m there.”
Beasley, an All-American forward out of Kansas State, averaged 26.2 points and 12.4 rebounds per game in his only season on campus. He holds 30 school records, multiple Big 12 marks and six NCAA single-season bests for 2007-08
He is likely to be the No. 1 or 2 pick in June’s NBA Draft, with Memphis guard Derrick Rose the other possible No. 1 pick. The Knicks have a shot at the top pick after finishing with one of the worst records in the NBA. The NBA Draft Lottery is May 20 and the draft is June 26.
Lottery picks get three-year guaranteed contracts, and the No. 1 overall pick will receive $4,019,000 his first season; $4,320,400 the second; and $4,621,800 the third. The No. 2 pick gets $3,595,800 that first season.
Beasley and Garcia appeared at a showing of “Gunnin’ for That #1 Spot,” a documentary produced and directed by Adam Yauch, a former member of the Beastie Boys.
The film stars several prep and college players, including future NBA lottery picks Beasley, Donte Greene, Kevin Love and Jerryd Bayless, as well as Brooklyn Lincoln star Lance Stephenson, Memphis commit Tyreke Evans, Arizona-bound guard Brandon Jennings and Duke freshman Kyle Singler.
“The idea was to cover eight guys and then use five of them in the film,” Yauch said. “But everyone was interesting so we ended up using all eight of them.”
The film profiles the eight players as they prepare for the 2006 Boost Mobile Elite 24 Hoops Classic at Harlem’s famed Rucker Park. It documents many of the negative aspects of elite level prep hoops, ranging from the absurd practice of ranking of fifth- and sixth-graders to the creeping influence of sneaker companies on young men.
“The film isn’t showing it’s all bad that they’re getting this much publicity,” Yauch said. “We’re just showing different opinions that people around the game have.”
Adam Zagoria is a New York Times contributor and Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.