It has long been rumored (by The Washington Post, amongst others) that NBA bust Kwame Brown, the first overall pick in the 2001 draft, had been reduced to tears by Michael Jordan in front of the entire Wizards team early in his career.
In addition to the Post, a similar anecdote was told in a 2003 Sports Illustrated story, which stated:
"A source told SI that Jordan ritually reduced Brown to tears in front of the team. Brown, whom Jordan took with the first pick in the 2001 draft, showed flashes of brilliance, but his confidence was lacerated by a player who was once his idol. “Michael was tough,” Wizards assistant John Bach tells SI. “But that’s just who he is, attempting to make [his teammates] better."
On Thursday night, during this year's draft coverage, Brown was specifically asked about these nearly decade-and-a-half old reports. Not surprisingly, he denied them. "Michael has never brought me to tears," Brown said. "Did he upset me a lot? Yeah. I mean, he’s a competitor."
He then went on to rip into the media for selling gossip, though it should be noted that these stories came out a long time ago. This castigation of the press was similar to something that he had apparently told Hoops Hype earlier this month.
"So many people want to make up stories about Michael Jordan. He could have been the greatest guy in the world to me and they still would have made up something," Kwame said. "I watched Richard Sherman talk about the Seahawks locker room, a team that makes the playoffs every year and how they created a story about Russell Wilson not being black enough. So it’s just the media nowadays; they’re going to sell gossip. And it’s sad that it got to this point, but where are the Xs and Os? Where is the numbers at? Everyone says I can’t play, but no one has my numbers when I do play. There’s no outlet that I look at now [where] it’s not about this guy [debating] this guy, this guy talking that loud, this guy’s talking louder. Where are the numbers?"
There you have it, no tears. At least according to Brown. While he could still be playing in the league had things turned out better (dude's only 35) he'll still be playing on a competitive court this summer when he suits up for the "3 Headed Monsters" in Ice Cube's 3-on-3 league when it debuts in two days.