Already I've heard a bunch of people saying things like, "What is this kid depressed about? He's in his early 20s, he plays basketball for a living, and he's a millionaire!"
I agree that given the perspective of we "average" or "normal" people, that sounds like a ridiculously awesome life. The phrase "I'd change places with him in a second" wants to sneak its way into my mind.
But you could be a billionaire, living in a beautiful mansion with a gorgeous wife, and you could still be depressed. Individually, when things are going well for us, we think to ourselves, "How could anyone ever be upset to the point where they are depressed?"
It doesn't make sense to us. But if we really dwell on the bad times, we start to feel pretty $hitty ourselves. Thinking about pressures, fears, deaths...it can get pretty messy. Mentally, things can spiral out of control in a hurry, and that's why millions of people are depressed throughout the country.
Michael Beasley's just a kid, and he's under a lot of pressure. With the talent and money he has, comes great expectations -- especially for a No. 2 overall selection. When you're a public figure like Beasley is, people are constantly watching you, and talking about you. Maybe Michael's a quiet kid, maybe he just wants to play basketball.
But obviously, it can't be that easy for him. You can't just "play basketball" when you're in the NBA. People will be watching and discussing your every move, particularly if you're "supposed" to be an outstanding player in the future.
It's all getting to Beasley; it's probably that simple. Substance abuse might be playing a slight role, but the initial reports have since been abandoned. The current, official reports are focusing on depression, and NOT substance abuse.
Michael Beasley is just down on himself, down on life, and he did the right thing by checking in for professional help. Jeez, the kid wrote, "Feelin' like life just ain't worth livin" on his Twitter. Let's give him a break, can we?
One thing's for sure...
My thoughts and prayers are with him.
("JFro," aka John Frascella, is the author of "Theo-logy: How a Boy Wonder Led the Red Sox to the Promised Land."
It's the first full-length book centered on Boston Red Sox's popular
general manager Theo Epstein. Preview or purchase it online at Amazon.com, Barnes
and Noble or Borders. It's currently stocked in Barnes and Noble stores
throughout the U.S. Also, check out John on Twitter.)