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.

Heat snap Celtics’ 16-game winning streak

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The Celtics didn’t have another comeback in them.

After overcoming a 13-point fourth-quarter deficit against the Mavericks on Monday to extend its winning streak to 16 games, Boston lost to the Heat tonight, 104-98. The streak ends as the NBA’s longest since the Hawks won 19 straight during the 2014-15 season.

The Celtics trailed Miami by 16 in the fourth quarter then cut the deficit to only one with three minutes left. But Dion Waiters hit back-to-back 3-pointers, helping the Heat pull away.

Goran Dragic (27 points) and Waiters (26 points) led Miami, which needed a reason to feel good after losing three of four to fall to 7-9.

The Celtics, on the other hand, still have a four-game cushion over the rest of the Eastern Conference. This might help them regain focus.

Serge Ibaka gets dunked on by Enes Kanter, hit in face by ball (video)

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Is Enes Kanter mad Serge Ibaka rifted with his family?

(No, not this family. That family.)

LeBron James blows wide-open dunk (video)

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J.R. Smith (slightly out of context): “We don’t start paying attention until after All-Star break.”

Report: Raptors’ Delon Wright out a month

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Raptors guard Delon Wright dislocated his shoulder, but at least he won’t need surgery.

Raptors media relations:

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:

The Raptors (11-5), off to a surprisingly strong start, are second in the Eastern Conference. They’ve bought themselves margin for error. All in all, a month-long absence for Wright isn’t so bad.

Wright had been a key part of an excellent all-bench unit that included Fred VanVleet, O.G. Anunoby, C.J. Miles and Jakob Poeltl. Two-way player Lorenzo Brown has assumed Wright’s role, and Norman Powell – returning from his own injury – will provide a boost. Toronto can also stagger Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan more.

The chemistry of the bench mob was something to behold, but the Raptors should withstand this.