Kobe Bryant: Kwame Brown was scared of the ball
So we go back to the timeout and I’m [upset], right? He goes, ‘I was wide open.’ ‘Yeah, I know.’ This is how I’m talking to him, like, during the game. I said, ‘You’re going to be open again, Kwame, because Rasheed is just totally ignoring you.’ He said, ‘Well, if I’m open don’t throw it to me.’ I was like, ‘Huh?’ He said, ‘Don’t throw it to me.’ I said, ‘Why not?’ He said, well, ‘I’m nervous. If I catch it and they foul me, I won’t make the free throws.’ I said, ‘Hell no!’ “I go to Phil [Jackson], I say, ‘Hey Phil, take him out of the game.’ He’s like, ‘Nah, let him figure it out.’ So, we lose the game, I go the locker room, I’m steaming.
HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Has a top pick ever been such a punching bag?
Remember, Michael Jordan and Doug Collins selected Kwame Brown first overall with the Washington Wizards and quickly shattered his confidence.
Before bouncing around the league, Brown surfaced with the Los Angeles Lakers. Kobe Bryant, from the sound of things, was shocked by Brown’s issues.
After all, the prep-to-pro post had all the physical tools: a strong physique, height, strength, and a wingspan.
Something was missing between the ears, though. For instance, who says don’t pass me the ball if I am open?
A professional, even a blue-collar specialist, should want the ball when to keep opposing defenses honest.
It’s no surprise the Lakers took off once they traded Brown, dropped Smush Parker, and upgraded their supporting cast.
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