For years, fans and pundits alike have espoused the NBA to implement a one-on-one tournament at All-Star weekend. While the league has yet to address these burgeoning suggestions, 11-year NBA veteran Michael Beasley explained to Sideline Sources’ Wenzell Ortiz why the robust tournament would be auspicious for both the players and the league.
Beasley, 34, is one of the most touted isolation players in recent memory. Coming into the league, he was compared to his mentor, Carmelo Anthony. The former No. 2 overall pick even dubbed himself Anthony, just “on the left side of the floor.”
His best scoring season came in 2010-11 when he averaged 19.2 points per game with the Timberwolves. However, Beasley’s scoring prowess transcended his stats, as personnel around the association lauded his versatile offensive skill set. Tom Haberstroh, for instance, said he witnessed Beasley beat LeBron James “every time” in one-on-one.
Beasley talks about why there should be a one-on-one tournament
While speaking with Sideline Sources’ Wenzell Ortiz, Beasley explained his reasoning for a one-on-one tournament at the league’s All-Star weekend. The former Wildcat believes it is an opportunity for players to showcase how good they truly are. Oftentimes, athletes’ abilities are marred by mishaps. This is due to the virality of social media and its capacity to indelibly etch moments in our brains.
Furthermore, Beasley highlights how this tournament will also expose players. Instead of merely talking about being the best, players can prove it. With the NBA world watching, surely there will be those that crumble under the pressure.
“I think it’ll show how good certain players are and expose them at the same time,” Beasley told Ortiz.
Ultimately, it is a chance to enhance an individual’s skills. Anyone can play one-on-one in an empty gym but in front of millions — that’s where progress is made.
“I think it’s good for the league overall,” Beasley added. “Every player can get better individually.”
CJ McCollum wants a one-on-one tournament
Back in 2020, then-Trailblazer McCollum talked about pleading with the NBA to have a one-on-one tournament at All-Star weekend. In an interview with NBA TV, the 31-year-old said that he’s petitioned to have it implemented multiple times.
Additionally, McCollum explained that players would select their opponents — reminiscent of how Giannis Antetokounmpo and LeBron James will choose their All-Star teams live before the game this year.
“I’ve been pleading for this for years,” McCollum said on NBA TV in 2020. “I pitched it to the NBPA again; I said we should do a one-on-one tournament. I said guys would fly in just for that and you could sweeten the pot by being able to choose your opponent. That would be even better. You really put somebody on the spot to where like you either turn down some wreck or you going towards it and you really see what people are about.”
Both Beasley and McCollum echo a similar sentiment. A one-on-one tournament will give players a chance to highlight their isolation prowess and expose their peers. Regardless of the framework that the league would adopt, it’s evident that players, too, want a one-on-one tournament implemented.
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