He didn’t hold back
Former NBA big man Kwame Brown has been picking fights online for a couple of weeks now. After Gilbert Arenas spoke about Brown during an appearance on Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson’s podcast All the Smoke, Brown took issue with the three former players making fun of his underwhelming NBA career and responded with a 75-minute YouTube livestream on May 15.
In the weeks since, Brown has called out many other people who he believes have disrespected him, including members of the media. (It’s not worth getting into all his gripes, but the essence of Brown’s complaints is that he’s not getting the proper respect he deserves for working hard to provide for his family.) ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith was one of those targets. Brown turned his attention to Smith in an expletive-laden rant on Instagram in which he invited Smith to “meet me in Seattle, where you can have mutual combat.” (That’s a very specific invitation to fight!)
Smith responded to Brown in Thursday’s episode of his ESPN+ show, Stephen A.’s World. Smith cut a pro-wrestling-style promo on Brown, admonishing him for attacking his critics personally when all they have done is criticize his basketball skills.
“The only negative thing anybody has ever said about Kwame Brown is that he couldn’t play a lick of basketball,” Smith said. “Newsflash! That wasn’t a lie!”
To prove it, Smith rolled one minute and 20 seconds of Brown bloopers while providing running commentary of each and every blunder.
That type of performance is exactly why Smith’s ESPN contract is worth more per year than any contract Brown ever signed. He was absolutely on fire. The disappointed look he had on his face at the beginning of the lowlight reel was flawless. And to do an entire nine-minute segment in one take while maintaining that level of charisma is ridiculously impressive.
It’s hard not to feel at least a little bit bad for Brown, though. He had such enormous pressure on him to succeed after getting picked first in the draft straight out of high school. While he never made an All-Star team and only averaged more than 10 points per game once, he played more than a decade in the NBA. That’s nothing to sneeze at.
But because he was the top pick in the draft, he’s considered a bust. That’s what made him such an easy target for Smith when Brown was traded by the Lakers in 2008. Smith reacted to the deal by delivering one of his most iconic rants.
Brown has been a punchline ever since he entered the NBA 20 years ago. No wonder he has such a long list of grudges.
The best of SI
Analyzing the possible results of the NBA draft lottery. ... Country music star Chase Rice was once an NFL hopeful. ... France great Lilian Thuram has forged a connection with MLS’s Black Players for Change group.
Around the sports world
The Jazz banned three fans who directed racist remarks at the family of Grizzlies star Ja Morant. ... Tiger Woods gave his first interview since his February car accident. ... Shohei Ohtani couldn’t start against the A’s because he had to take the train to the ballpark and didn’t arrive early enough. ... GOLF.com reports that the Brooks Koepka–Bryson DeChambeau video may have leaked after Koepka himself asked for the link to share with his friends.
I have no words for this
Did La Russa give him the green light?
And on a fastball down the middle!
That is the biggest child I’ve ever seen
It didn’t work nine years ago, but who’s to say it won’t work now?
He can get some tips from Justin Tuck
Iran is banning cryptocurrency mining in the summer to prevent blackouts. ... Kellogg’s is introducing a cereal vending machine at colleges in case making a bowl of cereal wasn’t easy enough already. ... A Canadian member of parliament exposed himself on camera for the second time in a month.
The “Free Bird” guitar solo on a harmonica
A good song
Email firstname.lastname@example.org with any feedback or follow me on Twitter for approximately one half-decent baseball joke per week. Bookmark this page to see previous editions of Hot Clicks and find the newest edition every day. By popular request I’ve made a Spotify playlist of the music featured here. Visit our Extra Mustard page throughout each day for more offbeat sports stories.