On July 20, I received back-to-back text messages that ruined my day, week – and, until the unexpected trade for Andrew Bynum, potentially, my year. The first simply read, “Haha Kwame!” I dropped my phone in a complete panic, and quickly thought of any other reason as to why a Laker fan would feel the need to hit me with, quite possibly, one of the most vulgar words in professional sports. The only response I could conjure up was, “Really?” I already had admitted defeat. It would only get worse. His response was, “Two years.”
For the last month or so, I have been trying to find the bright-side in this signing, and, well, I can’t.
Without a GM on the payroll, this signing falls on the shoulders of Doug Collins – who, shockingly already has coached Kwame before. I am dumbfounded. Doug drafted “Stone-Hands” first overall in 2001 (after reportedly being told by Brown, “If you draft me, you’ll never regret it.”) and was fired after the following season. Doug was able to get 7 points and 5 boards a game out Kwame in his second year – stats that lock up the position of “Kwame’s second best year as a professional basketball player.”
The following year, Kwame boasted 11 points and 7 boards a game. He has yet to come close to equalling those totals. This was almost a decade ago. How is he still in the league?
The worst part of this signing, (if it is possible to dignify one aspect more horrific than any other) is that Brown’s second year of the deal is to be determined by a player option. Yes, the Philadelphia 76ers (an active professional basketball franchise since 1963) have been aware of Kwame Brown’s play since first being draft in 2001, and would perfer to let him decide if he wishes to play for them. Kwame, please take your time and let us know if you wish to be paid close to 3 million dollars at age 31 to play for us – they said, and he signed – cautiously waiting for Ashton Kutcher to come around the corner, screaming and laughing in his face. I am still waiting for that to happen – please (preseason hasn’t started yet).
Before bringing in Andrew Bynum, the original front-court appeared to be set at Allen, Young, Hawes, Moultrie, Vucevic , and Brown – with Hawes and Kwame starting. Starting. I survived over twenty days on this earth believing that Kwame Brown was the Sixer’s replacement for Elton Brand in the starting line-up. I actually said, ”Hey, at least we ge to see Hawes play the four!” Yikes.
Thankfully, the addition of Bynum, and the contracts of Young and Allen, have settled Kwame into the role previously held by Tony Battie. The career minutes, and stats, of both Battie and Kwame read the same – with Kwame potentially even being an upgrade. Bynum that is replacing Brand, and I can now, finally, sleep at night.
Life is good in Philadelphia.