Thursday's NBA: Wolves’ Beasley suspended 12 games for felony gun threat

Associated Press

Minneapolis — Minnesota Timberwolves shooting guard Malik Beasley has been suspended for 12 games without pay by the NBA for his recent guilty plea to a felony charge of threats of violence.

The league announced Thursday the punishment, which will begin with Minnesota’s game Saturday at Washington. Beasley is eligible to return March 27 against Houston.

Beasley, in his fifth NBA season, is averaging a career-best 20.5 points.

Minnesota Timberwolves head coach Chris Finch talks to Malik Beasley during the first half against the Milwaukee Bucks Tuesday.

He was sentenced earlier this month to 120 days in jail for the Sept. 26 incident, when he pointed a rifle outside his home in suburban Minneapolis at a family on a house-hunting tour. Police later found weapons and marijuana in the home.

As part of Beasley’s plea deal, prosecutors dropped a felony fifth-degree drug possession charge. The Hennepin County Attorney’s Office said Beasley can serve his stay in the workhouse after his season is over; COVID-19 precautions could require the county to release him on electronic home monitoring for the duration of the sentence.

Speaking at his remote sentencing, he said, “I am not that person. I humbly apologize for my actions.”

Timberwolves president of basketball operations Gersson Rosas, in a statement distributed by the team, said the organization fully supports the NBA’s decision

“As we work together with Malik to advance his development as a player and a person, we look forward to seeing his growth,” Rosas said.

Comment under investigation

The Utah Jazz said they will “thoroughly investigate” an allegation from former NBA player Elijah Millsap that longtime team executive Dennis Lindsey directed a bigoted statement toward him during an end-of-season exit interview in 2015.

Millsap, the brother of former Jazz standout and current Denver forward Paul Millsap, made the allegation in a tweet Wednesday. Millsap alleged that Lindsey, then the team’s general manager, said “if u say one more word, I’ll cut your Black ass and send you back to Louisiana.”

Lindsey, now the team’s executive vice president, has denied saying that.

“The Jazz organization has zero tolerance for discriminatory behavior of any kind,” the team said in a statement. “We take these matters seriously. We have proactively engaged outside counsel to work in coordination with the NBA to thoroughly investigate this matter. We seek a comprehensive and unbiased review of the situation.”

Millsap did not immediately respond to a message seeking reaction to the Jazz statement and the opening of an investigation. He tweeted later Wednesday that he felt telling his side of “my narrative … will teach my sons how to stand up and control their own. Inspired by the courageous souls who fight for racial equality and social justice daily.”

Snyder said Wednesday that he doesn’t remember the 2015 interview with Millsap.

“I’d be shocked. I can’t fathom Dennis saying something like that,” Snyder said.

Jazz center Rudy Gobert also seemed to be taken by surprise by the allegation.

“I never heard about it,” Gobert said. “Elijah was actually one of the guys that I was close with when he was part of the team a few years ago. I’m just going to reach out to him and find out. Until we have more information, it’s hard to tell. It was six years ago. That’s why it’s kind of tough to understand.”

In his final interview with reporters when that 2014-15 season ended, Millsap spoke about how much he enjoyed joining the Jazz and seeing the team grow and did not mention any incident with Lindsey. It’s common for media end-of-season sessions to occur on the same day as the team exit interviews, but it is unknown if Millsap’s meeting with reporters was before or after his meeting with Lindsey and Snyder.