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Phoenix Suns

Updated Feb 6, 2013 - 5:10 pm

Suns' Babby: Michael Beasley traffic incident 'completely overblown'

Phoenix Suns' Michael Beasley goes after a loose ball during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Memphis Grizzlies in Memphis, Tenn., Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2013. The Suns defeated the Grizzlies 96-90. (AP Photo/Danny Johnston)

Late Monday afternoon it was reported that Phoenix Suns forward Michael Beasley had a bit of a run-in with the law.

The oft-troubled player was cited for driving with a suspended license, driving with with excessive speed, driving with expired registration and failure to display a license plate on the rear of his vehicle.

He was clocked by Scottsdale Police going 71 MPH in a 45 MPH zone.

On its own, the issue is really not that uncommon. People speed, and sometimes they get caught. However, Beasley's track record of issues off the court likely made this a bigger story than it otherwise would have been, and although Suns president of basketball operations Lon Babby understands why people were so interested in the incident, he pretty much thinks the entire story "was completely overblown."

"I have a lot of confidence in Michael and the work he's doing here, and I can't condone anybody driving too fast," Babby told Arizona Sports 620's Doug and Wolf. Adding he wouldn't condone speeding from anyone in his family, Babby said he believes "the reaction to it was overblown."

"It was a traffic incident," he said. "I guess when you have a little bit of a history people are going to overreact to it."

Babby, who said he does not believe the team needs to take any further action with regards to Beasley, adding it didn't really cause him "great angst" or anything like that.

"Obviously we wish all of our guys would not get speeding tickets, but people get speeding tickets."

This is true, but it would probably be fair to say most people who get speeding tickets are never placed in handcuffs for any period of time during the stop. Beasley was.

Even with that, Babby said he believes the media overreacted to the issue and that "the notion that he was arrested connotes something far more serious than what happened."

"It was a traffic stop, they investigated the traffic stop, he was briefly detained while they did that," Babby said. "There was a question, as I understand it, about his driving privliges in Arizona even though he has a Florida license."

Babby said Beasley has an Arizona ID card -- not a license -- which is something the team makes sure all its players have.

What it comes down to is Babby feels like while Beasley made a mistake, it's simply not one that deserves as much attention as it has received.

The topic accounted for a little more than five minutes of what was roughly a 14 minute interview Wednesday.

"I think it's unfortunate we're spending so much time on it," he said. "I don't condone what he did, but I also think he is being held to a microscope. And you know he brings it on himself, I get that."

About the Author

School: University of Arizona

When you started with Bonneville Phoenix: Fall 2008, right before Cardinals Super Bowl run

Favorite sports memory: Being at Game 7 of the 2001 World Series with my dad

Favorite all-time athlete: Larry Centers

Favorite sports movies: The Sandlot, Rookie of the Year, Jerry Maguire

Most crushing sports moment: Grew up in Arizona and went to UA from 2002-06. In short, there are too many to name just one.


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