Michael Beasley is new to New York. Already he has said that he is “your favorite player’s favorite player” and that he, at 28, can still be “one of the best in the NBA.” Slow your roll, Beez. There are at least two more reasonable goals for you to achieve first: starting small forward(???) for the Knicks, a thing we might actually see; and premier Fake-Deep Guy in the NBA, which he made a strong claim to in a chat today with Taylor Rooks at SNY.

With a watch on both wrists and ankle, Beasley spoke, mostly thoughtfully and sanely, about lots of things: the dominant narrative of him as Weed User, his kids, masculinity and fashion—Young Thug inspired him to wear a dress!—and use of the n-word. Somehow that last topic lured him down a very strange rabbit hole: “We don’t even know if it means what we think it means.” And in that rabbit hole were some very strong takes on human biology and language and epistemology, which you ought to just hear from him:


Here are the choice cuts, with Rooks’s noble objections removed:

If you look up right, you can research the human brain and [garbled] right? It says that we are only capable of using 10 percent of our brain. You believe that?

It’s the consensus scientifically. So who was the guy that used 11 that made it okay to say that everybody’s just using ten?

Because if you’re only using 10 percent of your brain you don’t even know that you’re using 10 percent of your brain.

If you’re only using 10 percent of something that means you don’t know the rest of the 90!

If I’m only using 10. I’m the first person in the world. Say I’m Adam. And I wrote that we can only use 10 percent of our brains. That means that I would have to surpass the number 10—

A doctor. Has. To learn. Something. And everything a doctor learns is man-written. And everything a doctor’s learned is man-written. So, you can sit there and tell me you learned it, and yes I agree with you, I agree with you 100 percent. But it was a word that somebody else concocted—


“That is not the right logic,” says Rooks, but it’s futile. Michael Beasley operates under a different logic. Enjoy his parting shot:

You can’t sit here and tell me that I can only use 10 when you can only use 10. Because in order to see the number 10, you have to pass it to 11 and look back. You know what I’m saying?

All I’m saying is the words that we use are concocted by someone who thought a hammerhead shark should be called a hammerhead shark just because it looked like a hammer we invented. We don’t know the actual term, the actual word, the actual definition behind the words that we use.


Dang, Beez! If this argument wasn’t being used to advance the idea that “we don’t know” what the n-word means, you could say Beasley was making a good point about how meaning of words is socially constructed and imprecise and maybe words could misrepresent some aspects of the underlying reality they seek to describe. Either way, I’m putting a wristwatch around my ankle as we speak.