Kwame 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.
That’s just nasty.
Atlanta’s Al Horford gets the ball out high, but within his range, so when he pump fakes Indiana’s Lavoy Allen goes flying by. That opens up the lane and Horford attacks it, Solomon Hill tries to cut him off, but Horford just finishes threw him.
Pacers and Hawks played an entertaining, close game Friday night.
Dwyane Wade still has some springs.
In what may be his best dunk in recent memory, he shoulders Michael Kidd-Gilchrist to create space in transition, then gets up and throws it down before Nicolas Batum can get there for the block.
Not sure even Wade saw that one coming.
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Minnesota Timberwolves guard Zach LaVine is heading back to All-Star weekend to defend his slam dunk title. And he says he has “a few tricks up my sleeve” after dominating the event last year.
LaVine will compete against Detroit center Andre Drummond, Denver swingman Will Barton and Orlando forward Aaron Gordon in Toronto next weekend.
LaVine was one of the breakout stars of All-Star weekend last year with his electric performance in the dunk contest. He says he debated about coming back and made his decision after strong encouragement from his fans.
If LaVine wins, he will become the fourth player in the 31-year history of the event to repeat as champion. Michael Jordan, Jason Richardson and Nate Robinson are the others.
Blake Griffin will still return to the Clippers some time in March (barring any setbacks).
That said, he had a second procedure this week to repair the boxer’s fracture in his right hand, reports Ramona Shelburne of ESPN.
Clippers forward Blake Griffin underwent a second procedure this week on his broke right hand, sources told ESPN. The procedure was a part of the original surgery last week, so sources said the 4-6 week timeframe for his return remains unchanged.
This might help explain why Griffin’s hand looked so swollen and scarred this week. But to be clear, this was a planned second procedure, not a setback.
Griffin suffered the fracture punching a Clippers’ equipment manager while everyone was out to dinner in Toronto recently, while Griffin was still sidelined with a quadricep injury. The Clippers have moved on, but it is likely the league will tack on a couple of game suspension for Griffin upon his return to health.
And no, the Clippers are not looking to trade Griffin in spite of this. So stop asking.