In arguably the most explosive lawsuit to hit the AAU community in years, Eric Prisbell and Steve Yanda of the Washington Post report that Minnesota Timberwolves forward Michael Beasley is suing his former agent, Joel Bell, and his former AAU coach, Curtis Malone. Beasley and his mother allege that they received illegal benefits, including thousands of dollars in cash, while Beasley was in high school and during his sole season at Kansas State University. Beasley is countersuing Bell, who is suing Beasley for wrongfully terminating him. Malone is named in a third-party claim.
David Steele of SportingNews.com reports that Malone is the stepfather of Portland Trail Blazers rookie guard Nolan Smith.
According to Beasley's allegations, Malone-his coach on the regionally- and nationally-prominent D.C. Assault AAU program in the Washington area-took the wayward Beasley in as a teenager, mentored him, acted as a surrogate father, and helped his mother financially, at the very least to attend her son's out of town games.
He did the same years earlier for the son and daughter of a former NBA player and assistant coach who, 15 years ago, died suddenly at age 43. The player was Derek Smith, and the son is Nolan Smith, who helped Duke win a national championship in 2010 and was drafted into the NBA last June. Malone is now his stepfather; he married Derek Smith's widow.
As much as he cherishes his father's memory, Nolan Smith cherishes the bond developed, and strength provided, by his stepfather. He speaks about Malone often and embraces their relationship as if it's blood.
This weekend, George Holloway, a Washington, D.C. accountant, told the Washington Post that he was responsible for paying Beasley's mother more than $11,000 for rent and that he did not act under anyone else's instruction, but rather to help a family in need. Holloway said that Beasley was aware of the benefits being given to him.
Beasley and Smith were teammates on D.C. Assault, the AAU team coached by Malone. A 2008 article by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich included this passage.
Beasley, who has four siblings, found himself coming over to the Smith's so often he began calling Monica "Mom." One night turned into two. A week turned into a month. Months turned into years. By the eighth grade, Beasley had moved in. He still has his own room there and stays with Nolan for the holidays.
"Mike Beasley is his dearest friend away from Duke," Monica said. "It was like the brother he never had."
Shortly before the lawsuit allegations broke, promoters said that Smith would play in an exhibition game hosted by Beasley in Minnesota. Smith wound up no-showing.
-- Ben Golliver | firstname.lastname@example.org | Twitter