KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The laugh. Yes, were it not for his bevy of one-liners, his overstated modesty and his dance around that question about you-know-what, the long-anticipated first press conference with Michael Beasley, if for nothing else, would've been memorable simply because of how he howled upon his arrival in the hotel meeting room on Sunday night. The phenomenal Kansas State freshman forward and the nation's top-rated recruit entering the season had to realize it was going to be like this.
It was Beasley. Alone. On his own stage.
See, five K-State newcomers, including junior Andre Gilbert and freshmen Jacob Pullen, Fred Brown, Ron Anderson and Beasley sauntered into the third-level meeting room at the Downtown Marriott for a scheduled news conference. Nine games into their first season with the Wildcats, they were allowed to speak to reporters.
They each wore snazzy gray sweatsuits. But there was only one Beasley.
So TV cameras and reporters sat in front of the table that was adorned with a paper "Michael Beasley" nameplate. Before Beasley took a seat, he spotted his four teammates - walking over to their tables to entertain an empty audience.
They looked at Beasley. He laughed hard. He laughed long.
"I know everybody wants to talk with Mike and there's plenty of time to do that
" a K-State official began.
Nobody was going to miss the Beasley Show, though.
And for good reason.
For the next 28 minutes, the 6-foot-10, 235-pounder, the fifth-leading scorer (25.0) in the nation and its top rebounder (14.3), the freshman sensation who has posted four 30-point games, broke the Big 12 rebounding record in his first game and is the popular choice to be the No. 1 overall pick in the NBA Draft (if he so chooses to enter), put on a show.
He was sickeningly modest.
"I'm just a small-time guy," he said. "I don't need much in this world but a bowl of macaroni and cheese."
He was adamant that he and roommate/fellow star Bill Walker are "regular students."
"I get this question a lot. People think we're just superstars, rock stars on campus," he said. "We chill. We say hi to (people in the dorm) and they say hi to us. We sleep just like they sleep. We play video games with everybody. We're just regular students."
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