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Arguably the worst draft pick in NBA history.
In the long, storied history of the NBA Draft, only three players have been drafted No. 1 overall directly out of high school: Kwame Brown in 2001, LeBron James in 2003 and Dwight Howard in 2004.
Given what the latter two became, Kwame Brown can easily be thought of as one of the worst draft picks in NBA history.
During the 2001 offseason, Kwame Brown was thought of as the best high school player in his class and had originally signed to play for the Florida Gators. He was also pursued by the Wizards President of Basketball Operations, Michael Jordan and, because of that, the hype machine was strongly behind the young kid from Brunswick, Georgia.
Allegedly, after a preseason workout, Kwame Brown told then-Wizards head coach Doug Collins, "if you draft me, you won't regret it."
Those words would ironically become prophetic after Brown was taken with the No. 1 overall pick and was the first of four high school centers drafted within the top ten that year (Tyson Chandler, Eddy Curry, DeSagana Diop).
The Wizards missed out on drafting several big names including: Pau Gasol, Zach Randolph, Richard Jefferson, Joe Johnson, Gerald Wallace, Samuel Dalembert, Gilbert Arenas, Tony Parker and Mehmet Okur.
Kwame Brown's rookie year was extremely disappointing as he averaged 4.5 PPG and 3.5 RPG in just over 14 minutes of play. He was criticized for his low basketball IQ, lack of effort and immaturity by the local media, but the Wizards continued to support Brown.
His stats would improve over the next two years with increased playing time, and he played well in some games and showcased his potential.
After his third season, the Wizards offered Kwame a surprising five-year, $30 million contract, but Brown rejected it, feeling he could earn more money elsewhere via free agency. This would be the beginning of the end for Kwame Brown in Washington.
He showed up the next season out of shape, and injuries began to take their toll. His games, numbers and production plummeted. His attitude and immaturity drew rabid criticism as Brown clashed with teammates such as Gilbert Arenas and feuded with his new head coach Eddie Jordan.
There was backlash from fans and the media, as they felt Brown had become a hindrance to the team's development.
Ultimately, Michael Jordan lost his job due to Kwame Brown's self-destruction in Washington, and Brown has not improved or become anything remotely resembling a No. 1 overall draft pick since.
After being traded to Los Angeles and being booed out of the Staples Center, he has become more of a punchline than a player. He has become an NBA journeyman, playing for four teams since 2008, while injuries have kept him sidelined for most of that time.
I have said it a dozen times, and I'll say it again: Kwame Brown is the biggest screw-up in Washington Wizards history.