Michael Beasley, who revitalized Kansas State’s basketball program in one brilliant season, was the overall No. 2 pick in an NBA draft that turned into a huge disappointment for the Sunflower State’s second-most famous college player.Guard Mario Chalmers, whose 3-point shot with 2 seconds left capped Kansas’ amazing comeback against Memphis in the NCAA championship game, failed to join teammates Brandon Rush and Darrell Arthur as first-round picks.
Michael Beasley, who revitalized Kansas State’s basketball program in one brilliant season, was the overall No. 2 pick in an NBA draft that turned into a huge disappointment for the Sunflower State’s second-most famous college player.Guard Mario Chalmers, whose 3-point shot with 2 seconds left capped Kansas’ amazing comeback against Memphis in the NCAA championship game, failed to join teammates Brandon Rush and Darrell Arthur as first-round picks.Some draft projections had the 6-foot-1 Chalmers as high as 12th overall. But he sat and waited until Minnesota finally took him in the second round, the 35th player drafted overall. His rights were later traded to Miami.Rush was the first Jayhawk picked, taken by the Portland Trail Blazers as the 13th selection overall. A trade a short time later sent him to Indianapolis, where the 6-6 guard could be reunited with older brother Kareem. Kareem played for Indianapolis last year but is now a free agent.Almost as deflated as Chalmers was Arthur, the Jayhawks’ 6-9 forward. Expected to go high in the first round, Arthur’s stock apparently plummeted because of concerns that he could have a kidney issue.He was finally taken by New Orleans as the 27th pick. A deal worked out before the draft will send him to Portland.“I was nervous, just waiting patiently and trying to see what team would pick me up,” Arthur said.His health, he said, “is fine.”“I took another blood test in Washington, and everything came up fine,” he said. “But everything is cool. “The crowd at Madison Square Garden, which had spent much of the night booing and jeering, gave Arthur a tremendous ovation when he finally was taken.The television cameras caught Sandra Arthur weeping when her son’s name was finally called.“I expected him to go sooner, and I could see anticipation in him and the hurt that he may not go in this round,” she said. “He’s going to do well. He always does well. You’ll see when he gets on the court.”With the 46th pick, Beasley’s college teammate, Bill Walker, was taken by the Washington Wizards. Often injured, Walker was a high school teammate of O.J. Mayo, who was the overall No. 3 pick in the draft. Walker’s rights were later acquired by the Boston Celtics.Darnell Jackson became the fourth member of Kansas’ national championship team to be drafted when Miami took the 6-8 forward with the 52nd pick. With the 56th pick, Kansas center Sasha Kaun was picked by Seattle. Kaun has signed a three-year contract to play for a team in his native Russia.Kaun said his rights later were acquired by Cleveland.The first K-Stater to be drafted since guard Steve Henson was taken in the second round in 1990, Beasley as the overall No. 2 is guaranteed a salary of $3,595,800 in the first year and $3,865,500 in the second. The 6-foot-8 Beasley is the first Wildcat taken in the first round since Mitch Richmond went to Golden State as the overall No. 5 in 1988.In Miami, Beasley will be playing for Kansas State coach Frank Martin’s hometown team.“I’m ecstatic,” said Martin. “I’m ecstatic for Mike. I’m ecstatic for the Heat. It’s a franchise since (coach) Pat Riley’s been there that’s been a regular in the playoffs and won a championship just a few short years ago. They are all about working and competing, and that’s what Mike’s about. I think it’s a perfect marriage.”Rush, a three-time All-Big 12 guard, was the Jayhawks’ best perimeter defender and often drew the other team’s best player. The Kansas City native announced he was coming out last year after his sophomore season. But after tearing his ACL in a routine workout, he underwent surgery and came back to school and was instrumental in leading the Jayhawks to the national championship.Brother Kareem played at Missouri.Martin and Beasley led Kansas State to a third-place finish in the Big 12 race, its highest in the history of the league. The Wildcats also won an NCAA tournament game for the first time since 1988. Martin had predicted his star player would be the overall No. 1 pick but denied he was surprised the Bulls opted for Rose.“I don’t think ‘surprise’ is a good word,” he said. “I have had minimal conversations with the Chicago Bulls about Michael, not that that matters. You would think if they had serious desire to draft someone in our organization they would have engaged in more conversations with us.”With the 30th and final first-round pick, the Boston Celtics ignored Chalmers and took New Mexico guard J.R. Giddens, who began his career at Kansas but transferred after getting involved in a highly publicized knifing incident outside a Lawrence bar.