Second, he has a passion for the game. Even today he gets excited when talking about his career, or basketball in general. He loved what he was doing and says whatever a coach asked him to do, he would do it.
Third, he hated losing. Kentucky lost 10 games in his four years and won three national tournament championships. "I remember every loss. I blame myself harder than anybody else. We should have not lost any. I was sick whenever we lost. That's just the way I was. It was my life. It was so ingrained in me. It was also maniacal."
Fourth, he refused to blame anyone but himself for a career-ending mistake. Beard took $500 from gamblers while he was at Kentucky. He insists he never did anything to alter the outcome of a game, but when his transgression was discovered his basketball career was over after only two years of play in the NBA. However, rather than wilt away and feel sorry for himself, Beard rebuilt his life.
"A lot of people would have died. They would have said the mistake ruined their life. You don't die. You go right on. The Good Lord knows. He gave me retribution and I'm thankful for that every day," Beard said.
Beard is thankful for the opportunities he had and knows he had no one but himself to blame for his mistake. Unlike many of today's stars, he accepted responsibility for his mistake and learned to survive without basketball. Certainly he must still wonder what his life would have been like if he could have kept playing professional basketball, but he proved one could overcome a mistake and still have a productive life.