There have been conflicting accounts through the years of whether or not Michael Jordan wanted the Washington Wizards to draft Kwame Brown in 2001. Some say Jordan pushed for Brown, while others say the team’s front office went behind his back and made the pick. It sounds like the real story falls somewhere in the middle.
Brown spoke about the situation on his YouTube live stream recently. The former No. 1 overall pick said it is his understanding that Jordan wanted the Wizards to draft him, but only to trade him for Elton Brand.
“They never drafted me with the intention of me staying a Washington Wizard. I was supposed to be traded,” Brown said. “MJ was a 39-year-old man. I’m not saying this to bash him, but MJ is from an era where young guys didn’t play. Young guys had to prove themselves and earn the right to play. I was drafted in order to be traded for Elton Brand (so he could) come to the Wizards so MJ could get into the playoffs and compete for a championship.”
Brown, who underachieved in his 12 NBA seasons and was ultimately labeled a bust, said he was eventually smeared by the Wizards because Jordan didn’t get his way.
“MJ is a very shrewd businessman,” Brown added. “What company ever bought a product that they had time to look at, examine, check your mind, check your heart, your blood, your family, they know everything about you. What company that knows everything about you then turns around and bashes the product that they put out? That’s because MJ did not get what he wanted.”
Brown said he never took it personally that Jordan wanted Brand, as Brand was playing extremely well at the time and Jordan was getting up there in age. However, Brown was clearly bothered by the way the Wizards handled the situation and the things that have been said since.
Jordan was extremely hard on Brown during their brief time as teammates. Though, Brown says one of the most surprising stories we have heard is not true.
It would make sense if Jordan wanted the Wizards to draft Brown to flip him for Brand. That would help explain why there have been reports that Jordan chose Brown as the No. 1 overall pick but also did not show him any love.