This week’s interview is with Saskatchewan Shockers C Napoleon Beasley.
SHL Digest: We’re here with a young star on a rising contender, Saskatchewan’s Napoleon Beasley. Thanks for taking the time to speak with us, Napoleon.
Napoleon Beasley: You bet! Glad to do it.
SHLD: Let’s get the elephant in the room out of the way first.
NB: Sure! Always good to get rid of those pesky elephants.
SHLD: Last month, the Shockers fired their coach, who also happened to be your dad. Was that a tough time for you?
NB: It wasn’t too tough, but it was a little awkward. My dad’s a professional, and he knows that getting fired comes with the territory. But I was basically hiding from the press, because I didn’t want to answer questions like ‘Did your dad deserve to get fired?’ or ‘Is the team going to get rid of you now that your dad’s gone?’ As if I was only on the team because my dad was the coach.
SHLD: Obviously not the case. With production like yours, you could play with any team.
NB: Thanks! I didn’t have any special insight on the situation just because he’s my dad, so I just didn’t talk about it.
SHLD: How did you find out your dad was fired?
NB: From him, actually. Right after he got done talking to [GM Cooper] Matthews, he called me and said, “Well, your old dad got the ax. See you at Easter!” He took it pretty well, it seemed like. I think he knew it might be coming.
SHLD: Obviously, one of the reasons your dad was let go was that the Shockers front office expects to contend for the playoffs. Do you think you’re there yet, as a team?
NB: Obviously we’re not yet, based on the standings. But I think it’s fair to have those expectations. When we started out, we were the joke of the league, but we’ve grown and gotten better since that. I think we should be striving for that next step of becoming contenders.
SHLD: You mention that “we” should be striving to contend. Your contract is up at the end of the season. Are you looking to re-sign with the Shockers, or will you plan to test free agency?
NB: Gosh, I don’t know yet. We haven’t talked with the team about an extension yet, and I don’t even know if they’re interested. But if they’re interested, I’d definitely want to have that conversation. We’ve got a good group of young players and I think we’ve got a bright future.
SHLD: One more question: yet another Shockers promotional event went awry last week, with the blimp incident. Do you think the Shockers will ever be able to have a promotion that doesn’t end in disaster?
NB: (laughs) Well, our promotions are always colorful, I’ll say that. Doof [Heinz Doofenshmirtz] is a real hands-on owner, and he has a lot of creative ideas. Some of those ideas might be a little better than others. But there’s never a dull moment.
SHLD: Well, thanks for another fascinating interview. Good luck with your next contract!
NB: Thanks! I hope it’s a good one.