Kwame Brown signs deal with Michael Jordan's Bobcats

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kwame brown.jpgKwame Brown and Michael Jordan are together again.

Bet you didn’t see that coming. But Brown has signed a one-year deal at the veteran’s minimum to play for the Charlotte Bobcats next season, according to ESPN’s Marc Stein. He had played the last two seasons with the Pistons.

Michael Jordan gets credit in most people’s thinking for ruining Kwame, the former No. 1 overall pick. That is true only in this sense — he drafted him No. 1. It was not the pressure and yelling of Jordan that did it.

Kwame was never ready to be taken that high, to have that kind of expectations placed upon him. Some guys were ready out of high school, guys like Kobe Bryant and Kevin Garnett and LeBron James came in as much (or more) swagger than game. They loved the game, believed in themselves and wanted the challenge.

Kwame Brwon simply was not mentally built like that. He was not ready for the setbacks — where KG reacted to every setback by setting his jaw and fighting to overcoming it, Kwame wilted. That was not Jordan’s intense style, it was Kwame. He took it personally. Everyone had advice for him — from fatherly to screaming — that first year in the NBA and it overwhelmed.

He was not ready to be on his own. He didn’t even know how to take his suits to the dry cleaner — I’m not kidding. Read this great old article from the Washington Post about Brown’s rookie season (rediscovered by our own Matt Moore). Brown was a fantastic physical specimen who knew how to say the right things, but was not really ready. Isiah Thomas saw it where Michael Jordan did not.

Brown can still do a couple things well — he’s a good defensive rebounder, and if you ask him to play man-up defense on another big body (ala Yao Ming or Shaquille O’Neal) he can be surprisingly effective. On offense, there is not much. But Phil Jackson got the most out of him because he understood the limitations and used him within that. Larry Brown can do the same thing.

Just don’t blame Jordan for Kwame. Blame Kwame for the cake throwing all you want, however.

Despite revoked passport, Enes Kanter says Thunder have arranged his travel to Mexico City, Toronto

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Thunder center Enes Kanter – who had passport revoked by Turkey – lacked documentation to travel for a December game against the Nets in Mexico City and a March game against the Raptors in Toronto.

Apparently, that issue has been resolved.

Brett Dawson of The Oklahoman:

Kanter said on Sunday that the team has worked out an arrangement to allow him to travel to games in Toronto and Mexico City even without a passport.

It always seemed highly likely Kanter would get to Toronto and Mexico City. He’s a high-profile millionaire working for a billion-dollar company.

Report: Carmelo Anthony’s camp ‘cautiously optimistic’ Knicks will trade him by Monday

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In July, Carmelo Anthony was reportedly confident he’d be traded to the Rockets.

That optimism always seemed misguided. A couple months later, with Anthony still on the Knicks, it looks downright foolish.

Yet…

Frank Isola of the New York Daily News:

Anthony’s camp is cautiously optimistic that a deal will be struck before Monday, and trying not to think about the potential media circus that will take place if Carmelo is still with the Knicks.

It’s more likely Anthony’s confidants are hopeful than optimistic. If they’re actually optimistic, they’re very likely to be disappointed.

If Anthony hasn’t been traded by now, what will change between now and Monday? Houston still must find a taker for Ryan Anderson, and that’s no easy task – not without relinquishing sweeteners more valuable than Anthony. I suppose Anthony could waive his no-trade clause for additional teams, but it’s late for a deal to come together.

Hopefully for Anthony, his advisors aren’t pinning everything on a longshot trade and are helping him craft answers to the numerous questions he’ll face at media day next week – likely in New York.

Rick Pitino predicts NBA draft will accept high schoolers within two years

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Once an advocate of increasing the age minimum and a willing accepter of one-and-done, NBA commissioner Adam Silver sounded more open about allowing high school players to declare for the NBA draft.

The new Collective Bargaining Agreement left the issue open, but Louisville coach Rick Pitino predicts change is coming – relatively soon.

Pitino, via ESPN:

When I was at Kentucky, I had seven high school basketball players, told me they were coming, and instead, they went to the pros out of high school. And by the way, I think that rule is going to change back to that. I think high school players are going to be able to go pro again.

I think the commissioner is probably going to do it within two years.

Does Pitino know something? With decades of experience in the NBA and college, he could have many contacts with inside information. It’s certainly imperative for devising a recruiting strategy to know how this rule will change.

It’s also possible Pitino saw Silver’s comments, like any outsider could have, and is making a relatively blind guess.

But the possibility of inside information makes his comments more intriguing.

Warriors executive: Golden State rejected richer jersey-ad offers

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The Warriors are charging $60 million over three years for their jersey ads – about double what any other NBA team is getting.

Golden State chief marketing officer Chip Bowers, via Darren Rovell of ESPN:

“We actually had multiple finalists,” Warriors chief marketing officer Chip Bowers said. “This was not the biggest deal that we were offered.”

Bowers said the team felt it was important for the deal to be with a worldwide brand.

Light years ahead.