Jemele Hill draws ire of Kwame Brown as former NBA player unleashes on critics
Hill is just the latest to find herself on the wrong side of the much maligned former NBA player
Kwame Brown is mad as hell and he’s not taking it anymore. The former Washington Wizard and Los Angeles Laker player is tired of being the butt of jokes and he’s let quite a few people know in a series of videos that have enthralled social media this week.
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Brown, 39, was drafted at #1 out of high school in 2001, playing 12 overall seasons for the NBA, for seven teams including the Wizards and the Los Angeles Lakers ending his career with the Philadelphia 76’ers in 2013. He was the first overall #1 player drafted right out of high school.
Since his retirement, the still babyfaced Brown has become the butt of jokes about his career, widely known as an NBA ‘bust’ despite his time in the league and a reported $64M dollars in earnings.
A native of Brunswick, Georgia, the same hometown as Ahmaud Arbery, who was killed by two white men while out on a jog who have now been charged with his murder, Brown never met expectations. He had both the gift and the curse of playing with two men known for their exacting standards – Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant.
That could be why this week’s rage has been all the more vicious. After former Wizards player Gilbert Arenas referenced Brown as a”show pony” on the “All the Smoke” podcast, hosted by former players Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson, Brown went on his various social media platforms to unleash a profane clapback to them all.
He also objected to how he was characterized on “All the Smoke” when Lakers owner Jeanie Buss was on the show. Given that all three former players are well known for shenanigans on and off the court, it may be one of the reasons why Brown got fed up.
The saga’s high and low points are summarized below:
Some history: In 2009, Arenas and his teammate Javaris Crittenton faced off in the locker room over a gambling debt. Both displayed guns though Arenas’ were unloaded.
Crittenton, though, drew a loaded handgun on Arenas. That led to both being suspended for the entirety of the 2010 season as well as being charged on firearms violations. Crittenton never played another NBA game and has been serving a 23-year sentence for manslaughter since 2015.
Barnes, as you may remember, confronted his former teammate Derek Fisher about dealing with his estranged wife, former reality show star Gloria Govan. A scuffle ensued. Gloria and Derek remain engaged after COVID postponed their 2020 wedding.
Jackson was one of the main participants in the infamous ‘Malice in the Palace’ incident when a game between the Indiana Pacers and the Detroit Pistons turned into a benches-clearing brawl that involved the crowd. So it’s possible that Brown didn’t take kindly to being the subject of criticism from other former players with their own checkered histories.
However, Jemele Hill was not initially on Brown’s hit list, which included Charlamagne the God, a South Carolina native who went on the air to share the sordid history of some of Brown’s family members. Hill jumped into the fray with this tweet:
Brown took offense to HIll’s further tweet saying that he “chose violence” which Brown took as a slight, even when Hill attempted to explain it.
Brown did not appreciate the post, to say the least.
A Twitter user responded by suggesting that Black media personalities do a better job when talking about prominent Black people.
So here’s the thing. Brown deserves a little bit of grace, despite the profane nature of his rants that have mixed in some personal attacks, some colorism and some casual misogyny. Since his retirement, he’s had a few off-court issues, mostly of a DUI nature, but other than that appears to be living a quiet, private life in Georgia.
At 17, he said in his first words as an NBA player that being drafted into the league allowed him to overcome a difficult childhood and to put his mother “on a golf course.” He earned a reported $64M in his career. Brown has said that he experienced homelessness, food insecurity and more while growing up in Georgia as one of eight children and that his emergence from a past of abject poverty should be its own definition of success.
In 2017, Brown talked about his journey and how he was perceived. Maybe its time to respect his accomplishments, and stop harping on his shortcomings.
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