Kwame Brown: The Biggest Bust Ever?

Mark BrownCorrespondent IJuly 17, 2009

LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 30:   Kwame Brown #54 of the Los Angeles Lakers runs upcourt during the game against the Boston Celtics at Staples Center on December 30, 2007 in Los Angeles, California.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images)

When Kwame Brown was picked first overall in the 2002 NBA Draft by the Washington Wizards, expectations were high. After all, the great Michael Jordan was the one who wanted Brown. People were wondering if Brown would be the second coming of Kevin Garnett.

As we all know, this couldn't be further from the truth. Brown turned out to be an absolute scrub and one of the biggest busts in NBA history, if not the biggest.

Granted, Brown wasn't that bad in Washington, D.C. He showed occasional flashes of brilliance but no consistency. Unbelievably enough, he ended up leaving Washington after an argument with Gilbert Arenas. Brown wanted a bigger role.

He certainly had that opportunity with the Los Angeles Lakers, who traded Caron Butler for Brown. I'm sure if the Lakers didn't get Pau Gasol for Brown, the whole city would have been up in arms.

Brown quickly proved in L.A. that he had no game whatsoever. His small hands, bad feet, and lack of passion (and skills) frustrated fans beyond belief. Here's a clip of what Stephen A. Smith had to say.

Eventually, the Lakers had enough of Brown. I've never seen a player booed on his home court for an extended period of time, but sure enough, Brown was able to acheive this feat, one of my favorite basketball moments.

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Skip to just before five minutes, when he misses a dunk. From then on, he is booed every time he touches the ball. I had tears in my eyes when I saw this game.

Then it happened. Brown was traded, along with other minor assets, to the Memphis Grizzlies in exchange for Pau Gasol. Unbelievably, the Grizzlies dealt an All-Star player for scrubs. I still can't believe it.

He fared no better in Memphis. Both sides soon made it clear that Brown would not stay much longer, and he left for Detroit following the conclusion of the 2007-2008 season.

Some thought Brown might actually do well in Detroit. They though he might thrive away from the spotlight. On such a balanced team, he would not feel pressure and could contribute freely.

Once again, Brown demonstrated his lack of skills. Brown was a non-factor for Detroit, and he rarely received playing time on a team that barely won half of its games. Even more ludicrous was the fact that Kwame was (and is) getting paid four million dollars a year.

What does the future hold for Brown? Personally, I'd find it ironic if Brown became one of the greatest executives in the history of the league, contrary to Jordan, who was one of the greatest players but not one of the best executives. I suppose we'll have to wait and see.

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