What can Brown do for you?
It takes a while for an NBA player to establish his legacy in the league — he might, over time, become known for last-second big-shot daggers (à la Bob Horry), or for continuing to play past age 63 (Dell Curry), or for hugely entertaining, unprovoked three-ring freak-outs (Rasheed Wallace).
A few years ago it would have seemed unlikely that former No. 1 overall pick Kwame Brown would leave any legacy at all, but that situation has clearly changed. By the start of the ’07–’08 season, the strapping, stone-handed big man has earned himself a triple legacy: he is, at once, perhaps the biggest draft bust of all time (move over, Joe Barry Carroll); the player whose continuing mental and developmental immaturity after being drafted out of high school may have provoked the league to end the practice of allowing pre-collegians into the league; and now has become the player perhaps most likely to accrue a completely pointless arrest during the NBA off-season.
Brown may have sealed that final part of his trifecta this past week, when he pulled a Mount Etna act with some small-town Georgia cops. The details of the incident are sketchy, but his cousin, Charles Warren Jr., was arrested for a DUI in Valdosta, Georgia. It appears that Brown was not a passenger in the car when his cousin was driving, but was in the area. His cousin had turned the wrong way down a one-way street and gotten himself pulled over, at which point Brown walked over to the officers and became confrontational. The publicly released reports so far stink of a Gil Arenas situation (“You can’t arrest me — I’m a professional-basketball player”), especially the part where police say that Brown came over and “told the officers he was Warren’s cousin and the vehicle belonged to the basketball player.” Police say Brown at some point became “disruptive,” earning himself a disorderly conduct charge and an additional count of “interfering with an officer.” He was then hauled to the pokey and released on bond shortly thereafter.
Brown has been arrested twice before. Once was for a legendarily strange incident in which the seven-footer accosted a man who was on his way to a Los Angeles restaurant to celebrate his birthday. Brown grabbed the man’s $190, two-foot-by-two-foot birthday cake, and hurled it at him, splattering his back with chocolate filling. It seemed the man had arranged to pose for a photo with the cake and with Lakers forward Ronny Turiaf, whom he had run into on the street and who was celebrating his own birthday. For reasons that have never been fully explained, Kwame did the deed and then jumped into a white limo and fled the scene. Cake-strewn, the victim then complained to yet another Lakers forward, Lamar Odom, and nearly got himself beaten up by Odom’s bodyguard. (Odom, it should be noted, rescued the poor bastard, saying, “He didn’t do anything.”) Prosecutors considered filing a “grand theft of a person” charge against Brown, but ultimately declined.