Some owners have been remarkable in their efforts to get certain players in their team. I’m sure some of you will remember the Pizza Hut commercials in the 1990s that made fun of the money Jerry Jones spent to get Deion Sanders on the roster; Redskins fans are likely wishing Dan Snyder didn’t money whip Albert Haynesworth so bad.
With those two guys in mind, I have to wonder what His Airness, the great Michael Jordan, was thinking when he agreed to sign Kwame Brown to a one-year deal worth $1.3 million.
For anyone that does not know, these guys have history. Back when Jordan was an executive with the Washington Wizards he made Kwame Brown the number one pick for the team back in 2001 when the 6’ 11”Georgia teenager graduated high school. Brown actually lasted longer with the Wizards than Jordan did. Jordan was fired in 2003 and the Wizards kept Brown around till the end of the 2004-05 season.
Looking back at Brown’s body of work it is clear that his best days are behind him. He played the most during his second and third seasons with the Wizards of course; after making him the number one pick they almost had to give him a shot. In three seasons with the Lakers he got decent minutes, but never really produced much when he did play. With Memphis and Detroit he did not do much, but he did not play much either.
Brown also comes with a little baggage. There is the rape allegation back in 2006 (which he was eventually cleared of). Then there is the infamous cake throwing incident back during his stay with the Lakers. More recently in 2007 he was arrested in Georgia after getting busted driving the wrong way down a one-way street. While his track record is nothing compared to many current players in the NBA, it still shows some signs of immaturity and poor decision making.
As much flack as Jordan took for drafting the kid, it is interesting that he signed him again. However, when you take into consideration how much he signed him for then it does start to make a little sense. You would think that someone that can play like Jordan did would have some insight to talent; just because Brown has yet to really shine on the court does not mean that he can’t still. At 28 he is still young enough to develop further and become a force on the court with the right coach to teach him (what do you think LB?).
For the minimum price tag it does not hurt to sign him at this point. When you look at the options that the team has at center right now it only makes sense that the Bobcats bring in someone. With the history that Larry Brown has as a teacher and developer of talent he could be the guy to turn Brown into whatever Jordan saw back in 2001.
So far Kwame Brown is known for being one of the biggest busts in NBA draft history. If he is able to become a player for the Bobcats will that vindicate Jordan’s choice to draft him then? Probably not. Will he contribute to the team next year? Miracles can happen.
When all it costs to give the guy a try is $1.3 million and your team is in need of help at center, it doesn’t hurt for Jordan to go back to the well one more time. His legacy as an executive can’t get any worse.