Pull up any list of the NBA’s all-time biggest busts, and you’re likely to see Kwame Brown’s name alongside the likes of Greg Oden and Darko Miličić.
So it was no surprise to hear Gilbert Arenas go after Brown on a recent episode of Stephen Jackson and Matt Barnes’ All The Smoke podcast, in which Arenas called Brown a “show pony,” adding that Michael Jordan killed Brown’s confidence. Once Brown caught wind of what was said, he unleashed a series of tirades against his former colleagues, much to the delight of NBA Twitter and general lovers of drama alike.
So what exactly set Brown off? Well first, some backstory.
In 2001, Michael Jordan was mounting his comeback as a member of the Washington Wizards, and reportedly used his position as the organization’s president to draft Brown with the no. 1 overall pick straight out of high school. But the hulking Brown never delivered on his promise, and Jordan’s hopes of some pust-Bulls success with the Wizards were all but dashed.
It was even rumored that Jordan—who had a unique way of motivating his teammates—once made Brown cry, a story he has since disputed.
Following a stint with the Wizards, Brown was traded to the Los Angeles Lakers in 2005. At the time, the Lakers were in the midst of their post-Shaq era and were open to giving Brown a fresh start based on his potential. But like in Washington, Brown didn’t live up to his potential, and lost his spot to Andrew Bynum. The Lakers eventually traded him to the Memphis Grizzlies and acquired Pau Gasol (insert Stephen A. Smith’s iconic rant here.) And the rest, as they say, is history.
Brown eventually retired from the NBA, and has kept a relatively low profile ever since. That is until now.
Below, a breakdown of the conflict that set the NBA world ablaze.