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Phoenix Suns' Hunter: 'It'll be baby steps' with Michael Beasley

Milwaukee Bucks' John Henson (31) grabs a rebound in front of Phoenix Suns' Michael Beasley (0) in the first half during an NBA basketball game on Thursday, Jan. 17, 2013, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Michael Beasley continues to be a work in progress for the Phoenix Suns.

Former head coach Alvin Gentry couldn't solve the Beasley puzzle, but maybe Lindsey Hunter will.

The Suns' interim head coach told Arizona Sports 620's Doug & Wolf Monday he believes you have to first get to the heart of the issues that plague Beasley away from basketball.

"I think to get to the root of Michael Beasley you have to kind of look at him off the court first," Hunter said. "You look at how he was raised and the situations he was put into. People of influence that probably did things that weren't productive to his development."

Hunter said the 24-year-old has still had success in this league in spite of those issues. But, he said Beasley still has a long way to go if he hopes to establish consistency and longevity in this league.

"He's been working extremely hard and really trying to do the right things and that's really all we can ask of him now," Hunter explained. "It'll be baby steps with him.

"I don't expect [Beasley] to change overnight, may not even change over this year. But if he can lay a foundation this year and have a great summer you might see all the things that you are talking about next year out of him."

Despite tapering his expectations when it comes to Beasley's progression, Hunter isn't giving up hope the Suns can get him to make strides by season's end.

"Hopefully we can get more and more as we go along now but I am not going to put that type of pressure on him," Hunter said. "I am still going to demand excellence from him and love on him at the same and be disciplined with him but he needs a lot of other things before we can get the basketball piece of that."

Beasley has averaged just 9.4 points, 1.9 assists and 3.6 rebounds in 21.5 minutes this season.

About the Author


School: Arizona State University

When you started with Bonneville Phoenix: December 2011, Intern Summer 2007
Favorite sports memory: Braves 1-0 win over the Indians in Game 6 to win 1995 World Series.

Favorite all-time athlete: Chipper Jones

Favorite sports movies: Slapshot and Field of Dreams

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