On February 1st, 2008, the Los Angeles Lakers acquired a franchise cornerstone and future champion in a blockbuster trade, which led to one of Stephen A. Smith’s most iconic rants after the deal was reported.
The Lakers sent Kwame Brown, Javaris Crittenton, Aaron McKie, the draft rights to Marc Gasol, and two first-round picks to the Grizzlies in exchange for Pau Gasol and a second-round pick in 2010. In doing so, the Lakers shed one of the biggest busts in NBA Draft history, and went on to play in the next three NBA Finals, winning two championships in 2009 and 2010.
Fans and analysts were stunned by the deal, and Smith eviscerated Brown on ESPN that night.
“Kwame Brown is gone! The City of Angels, Hollywood, you should be celebrating. Throw a parade already, whether you win a championship or not. This man is a bonafide scrub. He can’t play! No disrespect whatsoever, but I’m sorry to tell everybody the truth. The man can not play the game of basketball.
He has small hands, he can’t catch the ball. He’s got bad feet, he can’t really move even though he’s mobile, doesn’t really know what he’s doing. Doesn’t have a post move that he puts to memory that he can do two times in a row.
He has no game whatsoever. Plays no defense. Doesn’t have the heart, the passion, or anything that comes with it, and you’re asking me if they gave up too much? Please. The Los Angeles Lakers knew exactly what they were doing.”
Originally published February 1, 2021, 9:49 PM