Kwame Brown was a former number one overall draft pick who did not live up to the hype, which led to many experts, fans, and even former players calling him a “bust.” However, for former player Al Harrington, Brown was not a bust, and he shared his opinion on why he thinks Kwame deserves more respect.
Kwame Brown did not get the support he needed
There’s a lot of reasons the Washington Wizards selected Brown for the number one pick. Michael Jordan, playing on the tail-end of his career, was instrumental in bringing him in. He gave his blessing for this move. For someone with the stature of MJ, who many consider as the greatest of all time, it’s an honor for the former Glynn Academy high school star to be perceived as a future franchise player of the Wizards, but unfortunately, things did not go as planned.
In an interview published on the Club Shay Shay channel hosted by Shannon Sharpe, former player Al Harrington agreed that Brown was not a bust.
“He went to a veteran team where I guess they really did not want him there. Michael Jordan want to win right now right, he don’t want to develop a high school kid right. So what I hear is it was just like he didn’t get a lot of support you know what I’m saying from the vets, and you know that’s a big thing man.”
Al Harrington, via Club Shay Shay
Harrington knew where he was coming from. He had his connections back then and played in the same era as Brown, so he got insider information on what transpired at that time. Harrington played for 16 years despite being the 25th pick in the first round, and he credited the veterans in his team who helped him settle in and teach the fundamentals on how to be a professional player.
Is Kwame Brown the poster child of draft busts?
For many years, Brown received insults from Wizards fans who thought they wasted their pick on him. His demise was so bad he eventually led some to revisit draft rules and make exceptions from getting high school stars. Is it safe to safe to say that the center was a bust? It may not be as bad as what others perceived his career to be.
He was a legit NBA player who was chosen as the first pick. Brown got to play alongside Jordan, got paid millions, and experienced what others could only dream of achieving.
He played for 13 years. That’s a lot for someone being called a “bust.” Unlike other centers at that time, Brown was big and quick, and athletic. He did not start his career well with the Wizards. From being a high school star to being tabbed number one pick, things got overwhelming quickly for Kwame. The pressure to perform or mature immediately was there. Each error or mistake was scrutinized on a national level.
Let the critics live Kwame Brown’s life and see if they could have done a better job given the circumstances. His career may have fallen short of expectations, and fans’ disappointments have merits, but Brown made it in the NBA, which was already an achievement in itself.