Kwame Time!

Kwame Brown has changed coasts, but not much else has changed.

Did anybody catch the Lakers-Suns game on TNT last night? Most of you guys were probably in the bed. Unfortunately, that meant that you missed seeing (or hearing) the Staples Center officially turn into Verizon Center West.

Yes, Brown was booed at home yesterday. In those same vile, unrelenting tones he once received in his last days in Washington.

It might not sound like such a big deal, but these are Laker fans! Laid-back California Laker fans who come for the Kobe Show and spend a good portion of the game star gazing. In the last year of his contract, and showing no improvement from the day arrived, Brown has turned them into hardened, angry people.


I think I can. I think I can. (Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)

The Lakers were playing first home game since losing Andrew Bynum for eight weeks. When Brown went down with a sprained medial collateral ligament last November, Bynum was Brown's backup, and the Lakers were 6-3. While Brown was gone, Bynum emerged as a double-double machine and Kobe Bryant recently said that Bynum made them a "championship-caliber" team.

Kwame hasn't been all bad in Los Angeles. He had some decent playoff games two years ago, and was the starting center during the Lakers' best stretch last season, when the team went 16-8. Of course, he got hurt - what's new? - and the season collapsed from there.

But now that the Lakers have one of the best records in the Western Conference, the fans expect a little more from the former No. 1 pick. Not only was Bynum balling, but so is Caron Butler, the guy for whom Kwame was traded. Brown didn't do too bad in his first start since returning, when he had 10 points and 10 rebounds in Seattle on Tuesday, but it didn't take long for the fans to turn on him.

There was a smattering of boos when Brown missed a point blank layup early in the first quarter, but the fans really gave to Brown during the third quarter, booing every time he touched the ball for long stretches. Brown blew a dunk and committed four of his seven - yes, seven - turnovers during the period and Lakers Coach Phil Jackson had to yank him for good with 3:50 left, after he picked his fifth foul. Ugh.

"I wanted to let him work his way out of it and his teammates wanted him to work his way out of it," Jackson said. "It wasn't going to happen."

Does this sound familiar to anyone?

The funny thing was how the Lakers players and coaches reacted to the vitriol aimed toward Brown. Jackson said he'd never never coached a team where home fans did that to a player. Maybe he should give Eddie Jordan a call.

Here's Kobe: "I thought it was terrible," Lakers star Kobe Bryant said of the fans' behavior. "If they want to do that, they can stay home. He's going to be our guy here for two months. He's going to do fine, he's going to play well the next game.
"Kwame's sensitive. You boo him, it's going to affect him. I told him I've got his back."

Here's Jordan Farmar: "That's just not right. If you're here as a Laker fan, you should support your team through the good, the bad, the ugly."

Poor Kwame. The boos come during the same week when Sports Illustrated took a poll of 242 NBA Players who listed Brown as the player who gets the least out of the most talent. Brown received 17 percent of the votes to top Tim Thomas (10 percent), Eddy Curry (7 percent), Vince Carter (6 percent) and Darko Milicic (5 percent), among others.

Kwame, disappointing coast to coast.

By Michael Lee |  January 18, 2008; 10:46 AM ET
Previous: I Do Believe What I Just Saw | Next: Daniels update

Comments

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That trade looks better and better for the Wizards every single day.

Posted by: TG | January 18, 2008 10:54 AM

The trade of Kwame for Atkins and Butler alone makes Ernie Grunfeld one of the greatest GM's in the history of the Washington Bullets.

Posted by: Joe | January 18, 2008 11:10 AM

Yeah, I saw the game. Kwame still looks like he was just out of high school.

Posted by: Sagaliba | January 18, 2008 11:19 AM

Kwame: as defined in Webster's means "coulda, woulda, shoulda".

Posted by: bob | January 18, 2008 11:28 AM

Thank god EG became our GM...Arenas, Butler, AD, and counting

Posted by: Burg w/ a U | January 18, 2008 11:34 AM

Poor Kwame... oh wait, he is a multi-millionaire, dang!

Posted by: khrabb | January 18, 2008 11:40 AM

"Kwame's sensitive." - Kobe

Posted by: Copy n' paste | January 18, 2008 11:44 AM

Big deal. Is this newsworthy enough to create a blog over?

They boo'd Kobe in the past also, which is even more ridiculous.

Somewhere, sometime, somehow, Doug Collins and MJ will pay for how they destroyed this dude.

Posted by: DC Man88 | January 18, 2008 11:44 AM

I think after this many years, you can let go of the "Doug Collins and MJ destroyed Kwame" excuse. He's changed teams, coasts, coaches and teammates and he still sucks.

And yes it's newsworthy enough for a BLOG. It's a blog item not a front page news articles. Gosh.

Posted by: Bart | January 18, 2008 11:59 AM

I feel a little bad for Kwame. He was put into a bad situation from day one and has been sort of trapped in it ever since. Jordan and Collins just shattered his confidence, apparently beyond all repair.

"The trade of Kwame for Atkins and Butler alone makes Ernie Grunfeld one of the greatest GM's in the history of the Washington Bullets."

Given the competition, I'm pretty sure that qualifies as damning with faint praise.

Posted by: kalorama | January 18, 2008 12:02 PM

ROFLOL. I love the fact that they booed him. And I love even more the fact that he's not our headache anymore. Teams will learn eventually that when a guy can't play, he can't play and paying him to go to a new situation doesn't work. I believe that his contract expires after this season. No way he's in a Laker uni next year. It should be crystal clear now. The ghost of Larue Martin can now rest in peace. Kwame is the undisputed worst top pick in the history of the league and it's good to see that he gets the recognition he deserves.

Posted by: mark | January 18, 2008 12:03 PM

Is this newsworthy enough for a blog? Yes, it's interesting.

Thanks, Michael!

Posted by: Dave | January 18, 2008 12:05 PM

While there may have been some issues when Kwame first got here, it's an excuse to say that the Collins/Jordan thing is affecting him still. I've been on jobs that I hated and struggled with yet I'm not incapacitated 5 years later because of things that happened on that first job.
The guy has no work ethic, hands of stone, and no heart. That's been proven and documented. He is and always was a tall, strong, very quick guy but there are not very many venues to apply those talents if you can't do the most basic of athletic abilities...catch. His inability to hang onto the ball makes him almost useless unless he's doing something that can be done with 2 hands like dunk. His aversion to rebounding rules out that as an area of specialty. Right now, his defense is his strong suit and that's only because he's big and hard to move. Injuries are robbing him of the one thing that made him superior athletically..his quickness. Plain and simple, dude is DONE. Even 'S q' is an all star compared to him. (Shaq is a shell of his former self and only gets the 'S' and the 'Q').

Posted by: mark | January 18, 2008 12:13 PM

I heard that AB had a salad for lunch. Quick, start a blog.

Posted by: DC Man88 | January 18, 2008 12:21 PM

You know what I find amusing? How the biggest Gilbert Arenas hater on the planet has a soft spot for Kwame Brown. Isn't that a bit backwards?
I think we've figured it out people. DCMan88 is either related to Kwame, on his payroll or simply one of the flunkies of the biggest flunky to wear a Wizards uniform. Ha! How else to do explain the hatred directed toward Gilbert, the man Kwame once threatened to "slap the [snot] out of?" In the words of Kwame Lover/DCMan88, "Bwaaa!!"

Posted by: Hater Alert | January 18, 2008 12:35 PM

DCMan, this is worth of a blogging because it's resounds among Wizards fans. Not to mention, Kwame was all about being traded. He thought the change of scenery would bring out the best in him. It clearly hasn't. You sound like a Kwame apologizer, which doesn't shock me in the least. If Kwame still blames MJ and Doug Collins for ruining him, then he was never in the right mental mind set to play in this league. That's on him.

Posted by: Colin | January 18, 2008 12:38 PM

didn't see the game, but i was watching the stat feed at the beginning of the second half, and man, micheal lee is right, it was brutal. i think kwame had about four consecutive turnovers combined with a missed dunk. i wonder how long it would have continued if kwame hadn't picked up his fifth foul?

as for the booing, what's the point? at this point it just seems mean. expectations for him should be about the level of a calvin booth or scott pollard or any other journeyman center, if that high. i guess that's the cruel fate of someone drafted first overall - or traded straight up for caron butler - who doesn't have even second-rate nba talent.

Posted by: DarrellWalkerFan | January 18, 2008 12:44 PM

Oh Damn!

HAHA, I bet Andre DID have a salad, NOT!
You dweebs are reeling! RESPECT!

I want to make a salad + you got served joke, but I bet DCMAN can top it!

Croutons for everyone.

Too much!

Posted by: i smoke | January 18, 2008 12:49 PM

I'm torn.

on one hand I find that DCman is right 100% of the time, and thus this blog entry is a waste! Suckas!

but,

At he same time, he has taken this pointless blog entry and turned it into a forum for his delicious brand of One sided slap down domination.

and,

I didn't know I should feel bad for kwame... I'm going to need time to sort through my feelings.

Posted by: i smoke | January 18, 2008 12:53 PM

It's funny how people here love to rejoice in an ex Les Boules player's demise, while they get their p@nties in a bunch whenever an ex Les BouleS player actually does well, and boy, there have been many more of those.

Posted by: DC Man88 | January 18, 2008 12:55 PM

Washington DC - News broke today that Andray Blatche had a salad for lunch. Many in the Wizards organization see this as another positive step in Blatche's maturation. A source in the Verizon Center, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, stated that Blatche's usual lunch has been a king size pack of peanut butter M&Ms and 2 orange sodas. Blatche has begun to blossom this year, with many citing more playing time and the guidance of veteran forward Antawn Jamison as major factors. The salad was a mixed green with several vegatables and what appeared to be feta cheese. The dressing is unknown at the time of this posting.

Posted by: Copy n' paste | January 18, 2008 12:57 PM

I smoke, I have some dry cleaning that needs to get picked up. Can you pay me and I'll let you pick it up?

Posted by: DC Man88 | January 18, 2008 12:57 PM

Actually it was fruit salad. Yummy yummy.

Posted by: DC Man88 | January 18, 2008 1:00 PM

Hahaha, awesome post. Glad he isn't our problem anymore and I don't feel bad for a guy making millions a year.

Posted by: Don | January 18, 2008 1:00 PM

When the Kwame trade occurred I wasn't sure about Caron. I thought he was good but I didn't imagine that he was this good. A great surprise!
I did think about Mitch Kupchak. I thought that it was possible he would be fired because of the trade. Mitch played hard and well for the Bullets. I am glad his other player moves are working out.
We are very fortunate to have Ernie Grunfeld. This could be a very fine year for the Wizards when all of the players are back.

Posted by: Joe C | January 18, 2008 1:01 PM

if j kidd had gone to the Lakers, he'd have made life better for kwame. i think its well documented that kwame has small hands and can't even palm a basketball with one. by now, he should know to secure the ball with 2 hands before doing anything. but i do agree, his confidence and mental toughness is weak and for a coach like phil jackson who loves to play mind games, that doesn't bode well. what kwame is is a #1 pick with unsigned free agent ability. he shows flashes but there are times when his play warrants being hidden at the end of the bench.

Posted by: G$ | January 18, 2008 1:04 PM

"We are very fortunate to have Ernie Grunfeld. This could be a very fine year for the Wizards when all of the players are back.

Posted by: Joe C | January 18, 2008 01:01 PM "

Makes you wonder what EG could do if he had a better owner like Cuban, Arison, Dolan, or Paul Allen.

Posted by: DC Man88 | January 18, 2008 1:04 PM

If EG is so good, let's see if he can work this magic. I'd send them Gilby and maybe BTH/Opech.

http://www.sportsline.com/nba/story/10583085

Posted by: DC Man88 | January 18, 2008 1:07 PM

Two reactions to this:

1. Were the LA fans booing just Kwame, or were they in part booing the fact that Caron Butler was traded for Kwame? That one has got to bother LA fans a bit. In DC, Kwame was never booed just for being Kwame. He was booed because he was a #1 pick who ended up playing like a second round pick.

2. It's nice to see his coach and teammates support him so strongly. If the guy was a complete bum, they wouldn't have done that.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 18, 2008 1:08 PM

Well, Ernie needs to make one more deal -- he needs to go get Sam Cassell.
Sam's available (Celtics and Mavs are already after him), and with Antonio Daniels' knee a question mark for perhaps the rest of the year, it's no time to sit on this. He's from Baltimore, is friendly with Gil and Co., has one year left on his contract and has as much playoff experience as anyone. Got to go get him now.

Posted by: Jake | January 18, 2008 1:25 PM

I thought AB and the Wizards dancers only ate Chipotle. I'm confused.

Posted by: mark | January 18, 2008 1:42 PM

I think AD's knee was a question mark only because of the back to back games we played. If he rests it, he should be able to give us a solid 30-35.

Posted by: in the know | January 18, 2008 1:43 PM

Posted by: Copy n' paste | January 18, 2008 1:48 PM

I doubt that LA fans think about Kwame being a #1 bust, that's a DC thing. Their (LA) invested interest lies more with the fact that he was traded for a very good player, Caron, and that he plays like a jouneyman, yet makes $9 million this year. He simply cannot live up to his salary (can you spell Juwan Howard).

After Juwan's big contract was up, he was a valuable talent for whatever team he played, simply because he was not over-paid.

I doubt Kwame will have overpaid issues after this contract. I used wish bad things for him. Now I would like to see him do well and be happy.

I guess I am growing up.

Posted by: 2cents | January 18, 2008 1:50 PM

um, dc man, a quote from the second page of the tony mejia link you provided:

"But owner Mickey Arison throws a wrench into those plans by making it clear he wants no part of paying a luxury tax."

and you cite jimmy dolan as an example of a good owner? most people think he's the one responsible for the current dreadful state of the knicks. and he already fired EG in '99!

Posted by: DarrellWalkerFan | January 18, 2008 1:53 PM

This is great, I'm going to start a whole blog devoted to it.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 18, 2008 1:59 PM

Michael Olawakandi has to be the worst #1 pick in the history of the NBA. Kwame is bad but there are others worse than him.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 18, 2008 2:01 PM

Trust me, AD's knee will be balky from time to time all year, and he's the glue to this team. They need a true backup point guard, and they need it ASAP. If not Sam Cassell, someone dependable. A Brevin Knight type. Because you'll see tonight -- without AD, they'll struggle.

Posted by: Jake | January 18, 2008 2:02 PM

I feel a little bad for Kwame. He was put into a bad situation from day one and has been sort of trapped in it ever since. Jordan and Collins just shattered his confidence, apparently beyond all repair.

Posted by: kalorama | January 18, 2008 12:02 PM

Kal,
Very surprised you wrote this, considering how merciless you have been with any discussion of potential external factors contributing to Brendan Haywood's past inconsistencies.

I agree with Mark, Kwame never had it and never will. Maybe Collins and Jordan piled on a little but from day 1 it was obvious this kid had no heart. I feel no remorse for him whatsoever.

At least Brendan displayed some emotion during his inconsistent periods, with Kwame I couldn't even tell if the lights were on.

Posted by: Dr. Strangelove | January 18, 2008 2:13 PM

Hard drive space is cheap: Let Mike and Ivan blog about whatever the heck they wanna blog about. No one's forcing you to read it.

Kwame has no heart. Kwame never had any heart. That's his problem. Doug and MJ didn't ruin him; they merely demonstrated the flaw early on. I don't know how many times I saw him standing around, disinterested in the game going on around him, watching other players make plays. That wasn't caused by the Collins/Jordan cabal. That was on him.

I remember watching him loaf on one play, and hearing Collins yell at him (it was picked up by a nearby mic), "Get in the game, Kwame!" Collins meant to get in the game mentally. To me, that summed up Kwame's entire career. No passion, no intelligence, no desire.

No heart. Some things never change.

Posted by: Keithinator | January 18, 2008 2:19 PM

Jake,

Love your suggestion of going after Cassell. He'd be a perfect backup to Daniels. Good passer, knows how to run a team, but also a cool assassin in the clutch. Strictly as a backup; don't think he can bring it in a FT role anymore. But unlikely, given what he'd cost.

Posted by: Keithinator | January 18, 2008 2:23 PM

Kwame looked horrible and my roommates and I were reveling in it! I think he's a grade A baby, and from what I've read, can be real d-bag.

Sir Charles isn't a fan either.

Posted by: WaPoLiveFan16 | January 18, 2008 2:28 PM

I frequently thank my Laker fan friends for that trade. Mitch K, keep up the good work. Caron's a stud and absolutely a deserving All-Star (better than Paul Pierce, anyway).

But fans in LA aren't laid back. It's the Hollywood mentality. They want it all right now, they're beyond bandwagon fans, and they will turn on you in an instant. It's like the snotty kids at any preppy high school.

Why do you think all the people here love Kobe? He is them, and they are him.

Posted by: Wiz Fan In LA | January 18, 2008 2:33 PM

Oh man, You got me!

That was a great one, I didn't even see it coming... then I was like!

Wait! WHY WOULD I PAY YOU to pick up YOUR dry cleaning?!?

It's a little word trick you played on me!

oh, maaaan... too too much, DC man UR HILARIOUS!

What are you getting dry cleaned anyway?

Posted by: i smoke | January 18, 2008 3:24 PM

Big deal. Is this newsworthy enough to create a blog over?

They boo'd Kobe in the past also, which is even more ridiculous.

Somewhere, sometime, somehow, Doug Collins and MJ will pay for how they destroyed this dude.

Posted by: DC Man88 | January 18, 2008 11:44 AM

And somewhere, sometime, somehow, DCWoman88 will pay for obsessively wanting to suck on Gil's schlong but getting denied.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 18, 2008 3:56 PM

Personnel:

Gilbert Free Agent Signing
Caron Butler for Kwame Brown
Keep my cash! for Larry Hughes
Stevenson for Jeffries
Christian Laettner, Jerry Stackhouse, Devin Harris, salary dump for Captain Double Double Antawn Jamison

All shrewd moves that saved money and produced better talent and production.

To be Fair

Jarvis is having a really nice year and we overpayed for Etan but Great Clean up Job (from MJ) Ernie!

Posted by: Janitor | January 18, 2008 5:43 PM

Ernie,
Go get Sam I Am from the Clippers for the playoff run this year. He is just what the Wiz need.

Posted by: oddjob | January 18, 2008 5:53 PM

"Kal,
Very surprised you wrote this, considering how merciless you have been with any discussion of potential external factors contributing to Brendan Haywood's past inconsistencies."

And, conversely, I'm not the least bit surprised that some of the very same people who think Haywood walks on water are crawling all over themselves to rip Kwame a new one.

Haywood and Brown are two completely different players who dealt with completely different circumstances. Apples and oranges. Apples and bananas, even. Haywood came into the NBA as a 4-year player at one of the best basketball colleges in the country. Brown was an 18 year old kid who had never been away from his own bed more than two nights in a row. Having made the decision to draft him #1 the Wiz brass had an obligation (if only a smart business obligation) to do whatever it took to help him make the transition into the NBA as smoothly as possible. Browbeating, name calling, and scapegoating the kid didn't seem like the best way to go about it.

Haywood's questionable work ethic and attitude were well documented going back to his Carolina days, long before he ever laid eyes on Eddie Jordan. Kwame's entire career and attitude were largely shaped by the mess he got dropped into under Jordan/Collins. Is that an excuse? No, and I never said it was. But it is a very obvious mitigating factor that he's clearly been unable to overcome.

Posted by: kalorama | January 18, 2008 6:46 PM

MAN HE IS GARBAGE!!!!!!
I HATE HIS GAME I SWEAR I DO I NEVER LIKED HIM ANYWAY .FROM AY ONE GOD THE LAKERS NEED HELP WITH HIM HE AINT NEVER GANNA BE A GOOD PLAYER. AND KOBE?/ HE IS SENSETIVE COME ON LOL .

Posted by: OMG HE SUCKS | January 18, 2008 6:50 PM

I CAN PLAY IN THE PAINT BETTER THAN HE CAN AND I'M 5'8!!!

Posted by: DARROW | January 18, 2008 7:44 PM

"And somewhere, sometime, somehow, DCWoman88 will pay for obsessively wanting to suck on Gil's schlong but getting denied.

Posted by: | January 18, 2008 03:57 PM "

No, that be Lisa.

Posted by: DC Man88 | January 18, 2008 7:56 PM

I'm LA season ticketholder and was at the game. I booed Kwame as loud as I could. A 7-footer should not miss an open dunk. A guy who weighs 270 lbs should not be afraid of contact.

I also booed Kobe at the beginning of the year because he wanted to be traded. If Kobe were the GM, the Lakers would have traded Kidd for Bynum. Kwame would be the starting center and the Lakers would be out of the playoffs.

Posted by: Lakerfan32 | January 18, 2008 10:12 PM

Yeah, the Caron Butler for Kwame made no sense to me when they did it either. But we have to live with it. I support Kwame because he's a Laker and I always sort of felt sorry for him. Especially when it was rumored that MJ called him gay. Not that theres anything wrong with that. I just feel like he never got into the right situation for him. I mean MJ thought he had potential once. And he hasnt been a total bust. He did have a good playoff series against the Suns a few years ago with his defense. I just wish his hands were bigger, a lot of his ball handling skill issues would prolly disappear.

Posted by: Neil | January 19, 2008 9:40 AM

kwame should play on the feild goal blocking team for the raiders...he has no bussiness in the nba

Posted by: cj | January 19, 2008 6:09 PM

What professional organization would print this crap? I was horrified at how an entire article could be written just to trash Kwame. I have been a Lakers' fan for 32 years. I was upset with Kwame's play and I yelled when he missed easy baskets, but I was also ready to cheer when he turned it around. What you did was unworthy of the paper and any individual not actually committing a crime. Be ashamed!

I call for everyone and anyone that knows anything about Ivan Carter and Michael Lee to post negative reviews on them. Pick your topic! If you know them, put it in print and embarrass them.

Carter and Lee, disappointing on only one coast.

Posted by: Phil NC | January 20, 2008 9:25 AM

The Wizards will forever be bitter about Kwame... Leave the man alone. He'll be fine. Find another story to write about "Carter and Lee". How about Arenas opting out of his contract at the end of this season?(are you guys seriously sports writers??). Good luck next year Wizards.

Posted by: CJ | January 20, 2008 6:05 PM

Kwame's play can be frustrating when you expect him to play as a starter. However, as a back up center he actually does a great job. Bringing Kwame's big body and physical defense off the bench after banging with Bynum has to kill the opponent physically.

I as a Laker fan hope they can sign him for a reasonable contract and keep him as a back up. Kwame does have heart and he is sensitive probably due to the fact that he was born so big and people have always expected more than he was capable of. Talk about never being appreciated.

As long as he is willing to accept a much lower contract of value equal to his talents and back up Bynum as he becomes an elite center, LA fans will embrace Kwame because he does fill a need on our team.

Posted by: bigd22 | January 22, 2008 1:15 PM

Hey Michael (aka Mr Can't-Get-In-Print, so you have to write lengthy, dry pieces on blogs), us Lakers fans here in Cali are not star-gazing most of the time. Speak for yourself.

We've seen these people at the games and out in public for years (for free). We're not going to be looking at them when we paid 100 bucks to watch the game.

Get your facts straight. Don't speak on our behalf without living here for a while. And don't you dare call Staples Center (in L.A., the entertainment capital of the world) "Verzion Center West." You wish, buddy.

Posted by: retroj | January 22, 2008 7:07 PM

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