Good riddance Kwame
We tried and tried harder to be patient with Kwame Brown. Just four years ago, Brown was the first high school to be drafted first overall in the National Basketball Association (NBA) draft. He entered the league a teenager and was supposed to be the cornerstone of the Washington Wizards for years to come. Unfortunately, Brown is now probably done with his troublesome stint with the Wizards as he has been suspended for the rest of the playoffs.
He had everything and people made comparisons to Kevin Garnett when he entered the league. Standing 6' 11" at the age of 19, he had nowhere to go but up. In the predraft camps, he smoked another future prep-to-pro Tyson Chandler in a game of one on one. He impressed everyone during his high school career at Glynn Academy and earned several honors. During his senior season, he was named Mr. Basketball of the state of Georgia, first team on the USA Today All USA team and played for the McDonald's All-America team.
His last season in high school probably led to his being drafted first overall. Brown averaged 20.1 points, 13.3 rebounds, 5.8 blocks, three assists and two steals a game. These numbers understandably awed professional scouts, especially considering the fact that he played that season on bad ankles, according to his high school coach.
So wait what happened? How come four years later his numbers are nowhere near his former stats? His best numbers came in his third season where he averaged nearly 11 points along with seven rebounds. These are not the results that were expected when he came into the league as the first overall pick.
In my mind, Brown's downfall can be partly attributed to the arguably the greatest basketball player of all time, Michael Jordan. Jordan, the president of the Washington Wizards for a short stint at the time of the 2001 NBA draft, made Brown the first overall pick and thus, tossed him into the spotlight.
The Wizards were thrust into national limelight because of Jordan's involvement with the club. Before the 2001 season began, Jordan returned from retirement to play with the Wizards. All of a sudden, the Wizards were Jordan's team. Winning now became a priority for a team that just won 19 games the year before.
Although he was supposed to be the face of the Washington Wizards, Brown was not to make an immediate impact. He was to play for the majority of the 48 minutes a game and develop into one of the league's premier players. The best way to improve as a basketball player is to practice in a competitive way, preferably games.
Playing in 14 minutes a game and only starting three of the games probably got to Brown who was supposed to be the focus of the team. His lack of motivation led to a downward spiral where he was insulted constantly by Jordan and the coach at the time, Doug Collins.
Eventually, Brown got fed up with the coaches and the organization. He waited for Jordan and Collins to leave town and hopefully under new management he could play to his potential. However, that offseason the Wizards signed the NBA's Most Improved Player winner Gilbert Arenas and began to focus on winning again.
By this point, Brown felt out of place and whatever he did could not satisfy the Wizards fans who wanted him to become an all star immediately. He showed flashes of brilliance but never for prolonged stretches. His inconsistency frustrated the fans, the coaches and ultimately Brown, who gave up.
The postseason suspension resulted from Brown's skipping of practice. Brown's fourth season has been the most frustrating of all because it was supposed to be his time to shine. Nagging injuries ruined his season, causing him to spend extended time periods off the court and simply sitting on the bench.
Washington would no longer tolerate their former first pick idling around without producing. Every time he would enter home games they would boo him, forcing teammate Gilbert Arenas to plead for them to stop.
For the benefit of Brown and the league, the Wizards should let him leave. He will leave Washington and have a new start. Hopefully, he will go to a team that will embrace and use him. He is still only 23 years old and has time to evolve into a great player just outside of Jordan's and his own tall shadow. If we keep him, he will never be able to shine and meet the high expectations the fans put on him.
Adith Sekaran. Adith Sekaran is finally a senior at Blair. Adith is a man who is a big time sports fan and can spend any day to its' entirety watching sports or ESPN. Football season is his favorite, which he spends cheering on his ‘Skins to no … More »