Kwame Brown says Michael Jordan never made him cry, Kobe was right about free throws


Kwame Brown was drafted No. 1 overall in the 2001 NBA Draft. Michael Jordan, then with the Washington Wizards, famously put the hurt on Brown day after day in practice. The most famous stories are of Jordan making Brown cry while His Airness hurled homophobic insults at the 19-year-old rookie.

Those stories have been retold over the years, and to the public it certainly seems like one of the worst things we’ve heard about Jordan, at least when it comes to the basketball court. But during a recent interview with Basketball Insiders, Brown says that he never cried and that the stories involving Jordan’s slurs are untrue.

Via Basketball Insiders:

A friend showed me that if you search for my full name on the internet, it said my name is Kwame James Brown. My middle name is Hasani. There’s so much misinformation out there that they can’t even get a name right! There was a report that Michael Jordan would make me cry in the front of the team (laughs). A guy who grew up like I grew up don’t really cry much. The report about him calling me a homophobic slur isn’t true.

Fair enough. Brown, 35, is at the point in his life where it finally seems like he’s able to move away from some of the things that went wrong during his career. He’s slated to play in the Big3 basketball league this summer on Gary Payton’s team.

Brown was also able to talk about the story in which Kobe Bryant said Brown didn’t want to be passed the ball for fear of missing his free throws.

Even if I did want the ball, it’s not like he would’ve given it to me! (laughs) He’s absolutely right about the free throw part, though. So what?

I needed ankle surgery and shoulder surgery when I was playing for the Lakers. Mitch Kupchak asked me not to get the surgeries. He said, “With one ankle and one shoulder, you’re still the best defender we’ve got. All we need you to do is defend.” I literally had trouble raising my arms. That’s why I don’t care when a fan hears this and laughs or whatever because they don’t know the full story.

With the comments he made, I have two thoughts. One, I just didn’t understand the timing of it. Two, why would you want a guy who shoots 50 percent from the free throw line and has a bad shoulder trying to shoot free throws?!

Good for Brown. His career was nothing to write home about, but being constantly hounded the rest of his life seems like the perfect situation to be able to find a way to cope. Looks like he has found a way to do that.

Report: Michele Roberts to seek second contract as players’ union head

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Michele Roberts entered the NBA’s player union in a tumultuous time — long-time union president Billy Hunter had been ousted in a rancorous fight, the union felt adrift, and negotiations with the NBA on a new Collective Bargaining Agreement were looming (and players felt they had been screwed in the last CBA, following the lockout).

Roberts, the first female head of a professional sports labor union, settled things down. She cleaned up the union finances and made them more transparent to players, she worked hard to establish relationships with the players, and while she rattled some sabers with the NBA in negotiations, she also worked in a non-combative way with Adam Silver and team (unlike the Billy Hunter/David Stern relationship) and got a deal done the players liked without a lockout or labor mess.

Roberts’ contract with the union is up, but she is going to ask for a new deal — one she likely gets — reports Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

With an original four-year agreement set to expire in September, Michele Roberts plans to seek a new contract as the executive director of the National Basketball Players Association, sources tell ESPN…

Roberts had strongly considered staying in the NBPA’s executive director role for only the length of her original contract — and expressed that to the union’s senior membership — but has recently decided to pursue a longer tenure, sources said.

NBPA president Chris Paul played a significant part in Roberts’ hiring in July 2014 and he has built a strong working relationship with Roberts.

Roberts also has a good relationship with the star-heavy executive committee of the union — CP3, LeBron James, Stephen Curry and others — making it likely she gets a new deal.

As for what’s next, at the front of that list Roberts is working with Silver and others on reforming the NBA’s one-and-done rule (it was supposed to be part of the CBA negotiations but was too big and complex an issue to fold into that timeline).

Neither the owners or players can opt out of the CBA for four more years (and if neither side does it runs a couple more beyond that) so labor peace will continue in the NBA for a while.

Isaiah Thomas rewarded on epic flop with offensive foul call vs. Heat

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Why do NBA players flop on defense? Because it works.

While there is less of it than there was a couple of years back — when the NBA made a big show about calling more flops and warning (then eventually fining players a pittance) for the move — it still exists. Case in point, this impressive one from Isaiah Thomas of the Lakers on Tyler Johnson of the Heat Friday night (hat tip AminElHassavag at NBA Reddit).

Was there a little contact, sure, but Thomas fell back like he was shot by the second gunman on the grassy knoll. He exaggerated the contact, which is the definition of flopping. Thing is, he got the call (the ref who made the call, from his position, might only have seen the contact and not necessarily the extent of exaggeration, but that’s where the other officials need to step in).

Not that everything went Thomas’ way Friday night.

Suns’ Marquese Chriss, Jared Dudley fined $25,000 each for knocking down Ricky Rubio


Marquese Chriss and Jared Dudley got off light.

There should have been suspensions involved for the cheap shots leveled on Ricky Rubio by the pair during Thursday night’s blowout Jazz win. Instead, the pair were fined $25,000 a piece by the league Saturday for this incident.

Rubio has a knee contusion from the incident Jazz coach Quin Snyder confirmed, however, Rubio is available to play Saturday vs. the Kings.

Dudley was given a flagrant 2 and ejected at the time, Chriss was handed just a flagrant 1 for his escalation. I don’t completely buy Dudley’s explanation here either — I think they were pissed Rubio stepped over a down Chriss to inbound the ball and made him pay for it — but he did own up to it being excessive.

So to be clear, if you throw a haymaker and miss — as Aaron Afflalo did recently — that’s a two-game suspension. But if you throw or body check a player to the ground, that’s just 25 large, no time missed. Players wanting retaliation will take note of that.

Roulette tables are less random than the NBA’s enforcement policies.

Check out Terrance Ferguson’s acrobatic layup vs. Clippers (VIDEO)


It was supposed to be an alley-oop.

However, Raymond Felton‘s pass was low. And not just a little low, a few feet low.

Oklahoma City’s athletic rookie Terrance Ferguson was leaving the ground as the pass was thrown, meaning he had to make an in-air adjustment — and the results were spectacular.