When the term "Draft Lottery Bust" is used, Kwame Brown's name often pops into basketball fans' heads. But maybe his true calling is in coaching.
Brown, who parlayed being the No. 1 overall pick by the Washington Wizards into a lucrative but uninspiring career, is taking credit for helping one of the most improved players in the NBA this season.
While Brown struggles along with his sixth franchise, Andrew Bynum has quietly grown into the player Lakers fans hoped he would be many years ago. The 24-year-old center is averaging 19.6 points and 15.8 rebounds as the second option to Kobe Bryant on most nights this season.
Is Bynum's success because of the two-plus seasons he spent with former Lakers teammate Brown? The Warriors backup, while admitting Andrew has "grown into his body," dropped the early favorite for 2012's outrageous quote by an NBA player to the Los Angeles Times' Mike Bresnahan:
"That was my young fella," Brown bragged of Bynum. "I taught him everything he knows. ... I'm one of the better defenders in the league and we played against each other every day in practice. I told him if you can score against me, you can score on anyone."
That's a joke, right? Apparently not.
When asked if this could possibly be true, Bynum admitted being buddies with Brown, but claimed they mostly would "talk about cars" and go bowling.
It's not the first time Brown's self-image has towered over reality. Former Wizards president Michael Jordan took Brown with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2001 draft out of Glynn Academy in Brunswick, Ga. Brown, the first high school player picked at the top of the NBA Draft, boldly told then-coach Doug Collins these fateful words: "If you draft me, you'll never regret it."
Despite career averages of 6.8 points and 5.6 rebounds for the Wizards, Lakers, Grizzlies, Pistons, Bobcats and Warriors, Brown has managed to earn (steal) more than $50 million using a basketball as his weapon of choice.
Now he's stealing credit, too.