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Don’t expect to see Kwame Brown breaking bread with former teammate Gilbert Arenas — or “All the Smoke” podcast hosts, Stephen Jackson and Matt Barnes, for that matter.
Arenas was a guest on Jackson and Barnes’ podcast last week and he explained why Brown “could’ve been” one of the best No. 1 picks of all-time.
In his explanation, Arenas called Brown a “show pony,” whose talents were overshadowed by his lack of confidence in Michael Jordan’s shadow. Brown has since responded in a curse-filled, hour-long video on YouTube.
Brown, now 39, was taken No. 1 overall by the Wizards in the 2001 NBA Draft. Arenas, who was selected No. 31 overall by the Warriors in the same draft, signed with the Wizards in the summer of 2003. At the time, the Wizards, under president Michael Jordan, were in need of a star following Jordan’s final retirement in April of that same year.
“Imagine being an 18-year-old kid getting drafted No. 1 by your idol and your idol is Michael Jordan… we know Michael Jordan’s personality. Imagine that personality going towards a 18-year-old kid, just bullying him,” Arenas said about a then-teenage Brown. The two were teammates in Washington for a single season.
“When you’re making [Brown] look little to his peers, he loses his confidence. So when I get there, he doesn’t have confidence. So, it’s trying to build this man-child up… I call him a show pony, he’s a show horse.”
Arenas went on to say that Brown could’ve been “like an Anthony Davis-type” player, but his performance was affected by Jordan’s treatment.
“You’re talking about a 7-foot guy who was probably the fastest on our team… small hands, so he was more guard-like… I just think it was more the trauma than anything,” Arenas said. “Even when Jordan left, he still needed a fresh start. I don’t have time to be f–king with you. It’s either your team or my team, we were both in the same draft and right now, I make more money than you, so technically it’s my team.”
WARNING: GRAPHIC LANGUAGE
Arenas claimed that Brown’s confidence was so “shaken,” that he didn’t want to play home games in Washington because he was getting booed by fans. He noted that Brown would play better on the road, where he wasn’t heckled by fans.
Two days after the podcast episode was published, Brown took to social media to “set the record straight about” Arenas’ comments.
“I’m confused why these cats keep talking about me,” he said to start the video, while smoking a hookah.
Brown’s full response lasted over an hour in a video on YouTube, where he called Jackson “fake,” called Barnes “Becky with the good hair” and claimed Arenas took “millions” from him, via their contracts.
He followed up with a short clip on Instagram that showed him sipping a beverage at an outdoor restaurant.
“Yes I look mad. N—-s love to start s–t disrespect grown men then they play victim,” Brown captioned his post. “Y’all N—-s wrong end of story. Y’all n—-s go online and talk down on Black men that ain’t talking trying block they earn then scream wakanda fake s–t!”
Brown previously denied that Jordan made him cry in a 2003 interview with Sports Illustrated.
“Michael has never brought me to tears,” Brown said at the time when asked about the longstanding rumor. “Did he upset me a lot? Yeah. I mean, he’s a competitor.”
In his 12-year NBA career, Brown also played for the Lakers, Grizzlies, Pistons, Charlotte Bobcats, Warriors and Sixers. He was waived by Philadelphia before he could appear in a game in the 2013–14 season. Brown briefly played in the BIG3 after being selected with the fifth overall pick in the 2017 draft.
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