Stephen A. Smith recalls epic Kwame Brown rant on 13th anniversary of Lakers trade
The Lakers sent former No. 1 pick Kwame Brown, Javaris Crittenton, Aaron McKie, the rights to Marc Gasol and a pair of first-round picks to the Memphis Grizzlies in order to acquire Pau. Stephen A. was asked whether L.A. gave up “too much” for Gasol, and he responded with an epic monologue about why Lakers fans should rejoice at Brown’s departure:
13 years ago today, the Lakers traded Kwame Brown.
And I traded these thoughts. pic.twitter.com/aK2YqTIgmZ
— Stephen A Smith (@stephenasmith) February 1, 2021
Brown is one of the more infamous No. 1 selections in NBA history.
The Charleston native was selected first overall by the Washington Wizards in 2001, but he struggled to live up to his billing as the top player in the draft, in part because Michael Jordan rode him hard in MJ’s second return from retirement.
Brown made his way to L.A., where he averaged 7.4 points and 6.2 rebounds in two-plus years with the Lakers. The questions about work ethic followed Brown to Hollywood, which hardly helped his case as a teammate of the notoriously hard-working Kobe Bryant.
Meanwhile, the Lakers’ determinism to land Gasol paid enormous dividends for the franchise. They went 28-9 after acquiring Gasol, stampeding all the way to the NBA Finals before losing to the Big Three Boston Celtics. But Bryant and Gasol would have the last laugh.
The Lakers won back-to-back titles in 2009 and 2010, defeating the Celtics in a Finals rematch in the second leg of the two-peat. Gasol made Third-Team All-NBA in both seasons, proving himself the perfect sidekick to Bryant.
The Gasol trade will go down as one of the best in Lakers history. It will also be remembered for Stephen A.’s infamous Kwame Brown rant.