Michael Jordan may have remembered the very first pre draft workout Kwame Brown had said to him. Jordan was the Wizards president of basketball operations at that time and Brown wasn’t the Wizards first choice. They were keen on signing Tyson Chandler until Kwame owned him, dismantling the 7 foot high school star Chandler on a one-on-one workout. He went up with confidence to Jordan and said “If you draft me first, I’ll never disappoint you.” And uttered the words “And I will beat you” after turning away.
9 years after Brown was a disappointment throughout his career. He was the biggest bust draft in NBA history a raw project that we never get to see its true potential. Looking back you just have to wonder if the Wizards could have stick to Tyson Chandler or even drafting Pau Gasol in that matter. It was painful to see Kwame missing a lot of shots closed to the basket and those entire misdemeanors outside the court with the rape allegations and interfering with police investigation and all those feuds when he was still in Washington against his coach Eddie Jordan, Gilbert Arenas and other teammates.
Michael Jordan owned the Charlotte Bobcats and once again the infamous decision way back in 2001 had a repeat performance as he signed Kwame Brown to a one year deal for $1.3 million after the Bobcats traded Tyson Chandler to the Mavericks for Eric Dampier (talk about irony). This is the time you ask why then all together you scratched your head… Brown is already 28 years old and if he wants redemption he could have gotten it in the span of his 9 year career. Everybody thought he was a diamond in the rough but it came out he was just an ordinary stone that looks like a diamond.
Michael Jordan knows he would once again be criticized for making the same mistake 9 years ago. But Michael knows what he had seen on that very day when the 19 year old 6-foot-11 Brown was standing on the sideline waiting for his turn. He saw the fire, he saw the competitive nature and he saw a little something of himself.
Nobody seemed to understand Kwame having been through a traumatized childhood when his father would readily beat them and his 8 siblings including his mother. He was always a lost soul that needs guidance and the Charlotte Bobcats presented him a new life, redemption and an inspiration to be better… to renew the fire way back 9 years ago when he played against Chandler for that number one spot. Michael has been on this business for such a long time. He wasn’t a failed NBA executive it was just that all of those players involved failed to live up to expectations but he knows talent when he sees one.
Everybody deserves a second chance and Michael only asks one thing for Kwame… To hold up the end of their bargain and hope this time Brown won’t came out a disappointment.