Fremont County Bus Driver Arrested Charged With Slapping Child
After 20 years of insults, Kwame Brown has proven revenge is best served searingly
The former No. 1 overall pick in the NBA Draft has been ridiculed for years like a bust. This week, during hours of YouTube rants, he set the record straight Kwame Brown talks to Kobe Bryant during his time with the Lakers in 2006. Photograph: Andrew D Bernstein / NBAE / Getty Images the NFL, there was Kwame Brown from the NBA. . Like the former Raiders quarterback, Brown was a first draft pick whose myriad of physical gifts marked him as the kind of transformational player who only arrives once in a generation. But unlike Russell, who was first a college star with LSU, Brown had that burden on him as a teenager. Brown made history as the first NBA player to become No.1 straight out of high school when Michael Jordan’s Washington Wizards called in 2001. What if he didn’t become a Temple-related big. fame in the mold of other straight guys. school players like Kobe Bryant or Kevin Garnett, well, Brown said he was at least as brilliant as Jermaine O’Neal or his fellow All-American Tyson Chandler from McDonald’s. When Brown turned out to be neither of those things, it became easy fodder for the “busts of all time” clickbait, the inspiration for this ur-Stephen A rant. Smith, an argument to bring back the NBA age limit and a punchline for a thousand basketball podcasts – even safe spaces hosted by players like Showtime’s All The Smoke. In a recent reformed episode of the tough guys in the NBA, Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson sat down with Gilbert Arenas, Steph Curry’s clownish antecedent who turned podcast host. Asked about his time with the Washington Wizards, Arenas returned to his four seasons with Brown. And even though he tried to tout Brown as a potential top No.1 who was unlucky enough to start his career on the same team Jordan chose to end his own, Arenas couldn’t resist calling Brown a “kid man” and “pony show” while rubbing shoulders with how he took the lead over the Wizards in a final blow to Brown’s confidence. All the while, Barnes and Jackson chuckled. But Brown, in a welcome twist, didn’t have it. Blowing a hookah from his home with figurines in his likeness and a key to a city in the background, Brown took to YouTube and unloaded on the trio for over an hour. Throughout, the 39-year-old has effectively called Jackson a fake gangster turned fake social justice warrior, Barnes a tragic mulatto, and Arenas an Uncle Tom who continued the bust narrative by being a lousy teammate on the Wizards. Brown further recommended that the podcast try to discuss bigger issues instead of rehashing his career. So of course Barnes and Jackson doubled down. On ESPN’s The Jump, Barnes feigned surprise. “I’m coming from where he came from,” he said. “He was kind of the butt of jokes coming into the league and not living up to that No.1 potential. If you want to be mad at someone, be mad at MJ for you.” picking No. 1. On Instagram, Jackson was unrepentant. “Your whole career was dirty, your whole life is dirty and it’s not my job to make you dirty any more,” he said, wishing her “nothing but success.” As of this writing, Brown’s responses to their answers have been over four hours old and indeed seem to say, “If you can’t stand the heat, don’t name your podcast All The Smoke.” That’s enough to make you wonder: where was this guy from the start? Even after breaking onto the scene at Glynn Academy in Georgia, Brown would remain wary of the basketball media who still revel in all things Jordan – and rightly so. We relished Jordan by dismissing Brown’s hands as too small for his 7ft frame and had a meal with him that would have reduced Brown to tears in a practice – and all the while gently leaving out the over use part. Jordan reported homophobic insults like pins in a salmon fillet. Brown attempted to correct the record while working as an analyst on SI.com’s cover of the 2017 project, saying, “Michael never made me cry.” But the retort came too late, and was barely strong enough to cut off loud, gleeful critics like Skip Bayless and Stephen A Smith – which Brown, tired of 20 years of disrespect, challenged the ‘mutual fight’. The internet, however, has leveled the playing field and Brown, finally, is happy to turn up the volume. When he wasn’t firing back at his criticisms of the established and pushy media, he was disentangling interesting ideas like the impact of LeBron James’ activism on less famous players (“imagine the guy with a 10-day contract who needs of every bit of that money… Disagree with LeBron… ”); or chronicling the difficulties of navigating healthcare after the end of an NBA career – a highlight that was lost in the crossfire between him, Barnes, Jackson and Arenas. Once again: where was this guy from the start? And what makes it such a handy punching bag? After all, it’s hard to say Brown was a full bust. JaMarcus Russell ate his way through the NFL and was out of a job after three years. Brown trailed in the NBA for 13 seasons. He has started nearly half of his 625 career games and averaged 22 minutes in the regular season. It has been traded three times and has grossed over $ 63 million in career income. For a child who was the product of a broken family, who overcame homelessness, who survived free meal programs, who wore casual clothes, who couldn’t afford shoes big enough for his feet and who was from a town that gained infamy as the site of Ahmaud Arbery’s murder, Brown looks more like a great American success story than another legendary entry for the bust slideshow all time. (You can’t tell Brown that his life won’t be a movie someday…) Not even Lenny Cooke – the phenomenon who at one point was the highest rated prospect in a high school cohort that included James, Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade and Amar’e Stoudemire – must suffer from the smiling hoop heads mulling over his fall from Icarus. Where Cooke is seen as a sympathetic figure, Brown attracts nothing but anger. Maybe things would have been different if, like Cooke, he hadn’t made the NBA at all. Take the No.1 pick out of the equation and Brown is an improvement over the vast majority of tall, stiff center-forwards who came before him. He can’t help it if the Wizards liked him more than Tyson Chandler (second overall), Pau Gasol (third) or Tony Parker (28th). Plus, it wasn’t like Brown was on a post-game quest to rewrite the distorted popular narrative about him. He was minding his own business when Barnes and Jackson picked him up. Now I am not telling you anything that Brown does not say himself. And all of his counterattacks were unrestricted. In addition to n bombs and other explosive slurs, his twisty rants don’t hold back swear words or the occasional misogyny. But if you can take it, you’ll love it when he gets some credit for Kobe’s 81-point game in 2006. Brown, a more than fixable ‘dirty work’ player, firmly believes Kobe wouldn’t have been. able to publish these figures. if Brown wasn’t his teammate, he was putting on hard screens. The bulls of the players in the media are a dime a dozen; Barnes, Jackson and Arenas – the instigators of the end – are eternal stars when it comes to stirring the pot. But it deserves it: Brown was the sleeping giant who should have been awakened a long time ago. And now that he’s finally got our full attention, let’s hope that another 20 years won’t go by before this Brobdingnagian storyteller of truths thinks so much of shutting up.