After entering the league as the 2001 No. 1 overall NBA draft pick, Kwame Brown has taken a lot of criticism over the last two decades and has apparently had enough. Late last week, his former Washington Wizards teammate, Gilbert Arenas, appeared on an episode of the All the Smoke podcast, and he and hosts Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson made some comments that clearly didn’t sit well with the former high school All-American.
The comments prompted Brown to take to his YouTube channel, hilariously named “Kwame Brown Bust Life,” where he went on an hour-long, profanity-filled rant against not just Arenas, Barnes, and Jackson, but also seemingly anyone who’s ever had a bad thing to say about him.
But Brown clearly wasn’t done as he continued his revenge tour on Tuesday morning by calling out one of his most outspoken haters, ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith, who was responsible for one of the most famous rants against Kwame back in 2008 when the Los Angeles Lakers shipped him to the Memphis Grizzlies in the deal that brought Pau Gasol to Hollywood.
Brown obviously hasn’t forgotten what Smith said about him 13 years ago and has now officially challenged Stephen A. to a fight that will obviously never happen.
Kwame Brown played two and a half seasons with the Lakers after four years with the Wizards
As the first high school player ever taken with the No. 1 overall pick in the NBA draft, Brown faced a lot of expectations that he simply couldn’t live up to when he came into the league in 2001.
He spent his first four seasons with the Wizards, the first two as a teammate of Michael Jordan. Those first two years didn’t go very well, but he actually had a decent third season, averaging career highs in points (10.9) and rebounds (7.4). Injuries hindered his fourth year in the nation’s capital, and he developed a bit of a bad reputation, which led the Wizards to trade him to the Lakers ahead of the 2005-06 season.
Brown began his career in LA as a backup to Chris Mihm but took over the starting center role when Mihm went down with an injury in March 2006. While Brown averaged just 7.4 points in the regular season, he actually stepped it up in the Lakers’ first-round playoff series against the Phoenix Suns, averaging 12.9 points, third on the team behind only Kobe Bryant and Lamar Odom, and 6.6 rebounds, second only to Odom.
LA lost the series in seven, but Brown’s performance was good enough for Phil Jackson to name him the starter at the beginning of the 2006-07 season. However, Kwame was injured early in the campaign, and with Mihm injured as well, young Andrew Bynum was given the starting job and went on to become a key player for the franchise over the next few seasons.
As for Brown, he appeared in just 41 games in ’06-07 and then 23 in ’07-08 before he was dealt to Memphis for Pau Gasol, who went on to help LA to two championships while Kwame bounced around to five additional teams before his career was over.
Stephen A. Smith torched Brown when he was traded by the Lakers
In addition to Brown, the Lakers gave up Aaron McKie, Javaris Crittenton, the draft rights to Marc Gasol, and first-round picks in 2008 and 2010 to acquire Pau. And on the very same day the deal went down, February 1, 2008, Stephen A. Smith was asked on ESPN if he thought LA had given up too much.
While he could’ve just gone with a simple “no,” we all know that isn’t Smith’s style.
He proceeded to torch Kwame in what would become one of his more legendary monologues. You can view the whole thing above if you like, but the gist was that Lakers fans should have been celebrating the fact that Brown was no longer with the franchise and that he was a “bonafide scrub,” which Kwame clearly never forgot.
Kwame has challenged Stephen A. to a fight
On Tuesday morning, Brown took to Instagram Live and kept with his theme of the week as he directed an expletive-filled tirade firmly at Smith. Given the graphic language of Kwame’s latest rant, we’ve chosen not to post the video here. But if you do want to take a look, the Unfiltered Media Twitter page can help you out.
Brown simply went off as he took numerous shots at Smith before actually challenging him to a fight, telling Stephen A. to meet him in Seattle for “mutual combat.” And given the look in his eyes, Kwame wasn’t kidding around and actually brought up the “bonafide scrub” comment during his challenge.
While this fight will obviously never happen, it will be very interesting to see if Smith responds on social media — or perhaps even on the ESPN airwaves.
Stats courtesy of Basketball Reference