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.
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.