In Vanity Fair, Kurt Anderson controversially writes that we’re stuck in the cultural moment of the 90’s. The damning piece reminded me of Warriors fandom, which often feels like a dreary groundhog day of underwhelmed low expectations, dating back to 94.’ The “We Believe” run was a refreshing day dream, but fans were quickly returned to this grim, repetitive slog.

I naively hoped a big Chris Paul trade could usher in a new cultural moment. Such a move would have announced a serious Lacobian intention to set sights higher than “eighth seed.” But the Warriors wouldn’t part with Curry, the NBAleans Hornets wouldn’t part with Paul, and Paul wanted no part of the Warriors.

It all fell apart so quickly. “Tyson Chandler and Chris Paul?” diminished into “Well what about Deandre Jordan?” Suddenly, the Warriors had lost their amnesty and gained back only Kwame Brown for seven million dollars.

Kwame Brown.

I’m with the howlers on this one. Many smart writers argue that Kwame is underrated on account of his draft-selection punchline status, that Warriors fans are overreacting based on his name. I would argue that the punchline remains hilarious, even divorced from context.

I just flatly disagree that GSW needs Kwame’s defense, because I’m not sure he possesses the relevant skills. The consistent defense of Brown is his “post defense” ability, but I fear that we’re in a post-post-defense world. This is an era where Al Jefferson can’t convert the NBA’s best post moves into genuine stardom, and where the excising of illegal defense has permitted teams to swarm slow drop-steppers.

I would posit that shot-blocking rim-stalkers (Tyson Chandler anyone?) are the biggest defensive impact players, followed by athletic rovers who cover the pick-and-roll (Nene anyone?). Those skills are so paramount to big man defending that crediting Kwame’s “post-defense” might be akin to recommending a doctor on account of penmanship. Kwame’s defensive plus-minus is far from impressive. I don’t think this is coincidental.

And his offensive game? Well, he shoots free throws like Biedrins and plays offense like Biedrins shoots free throws.

I also disagree with the notion that GSW simply had to fill this role, that Kwame was the only man up to the task. Quoting Hollinger’s encyclopedic knowledge of marginal lugs:

Kyrylo Fesenko is a better defender than Brown and will end up costing about a quarter the price. Reggie Evans is out there, too, for perhaps a third the cost. Shelden Williams, Aaron Gray and Jason Collins signed for the minimum; Darnell Jackson is still hanging out in Europe waiting to get the minimum. Alternatively, Mehmet Okur is eminently acquirable in a trade; I’d imagine Ian Mahinmi is, too. In other words, Kwame Brown and Sam Dalembert were the “only” centers left only if you constrained your thinking to 2010-11 starters who were unrestricted free agents.”

Considering the options, this Kwame Brown consolation prize is little consolation. The dreary day slogs forward, sideways and forever.

28 Responses

  1. Ryan R

    For you guys that are saying 7 million is to much we were going to pay jordan 10+ million a year for the same numbers last season. The only difference is that Jordan wasn’t a number one pick.

  2. Sura.Time

    Reggie( Crotch Grabbin) Evans?! Where in the heck are you pulling these names from? None of these( oh we should have) options seem worthy or plausible. The mav’s just lost Tyson Chandler they’re no trading Ian Mahimi and Mehmet Okur isn’t coming here. Darnell Jackson as much i loved him as a jayhawk and ncaa champ he’s not taller than 6’8. Reggie Evans did not have nearly good as a year as Kwame and do you really want that junk-snatchin goon here?.I’d be far more ashamed of that than this, which isn’t a bad transaction, he’s actually improved against good competition dwight, Hibbert, McGee,Noah,Wallace/Monroe,J.Anthony,Horford at least 3 to 4 times and still got reasonably decent numbers.On top of that he’s only 29 and has something to prove. I’m mad b/c the warrior’s front office and coaching staff thad more meaningful additions than the actual roster did then they have the nerve to say “big things are coming”but hey the season hasn’t even started yet and free agency isn’t done.

  3. Jhaggy

    I’m not a big fan on this Kwame deal, I mean 7 mil is just way to much for someone who doesn’t do a lot. Just like everyone else I see a lot of bad in this deal, but part of me is wondering “What if?” What if Mark Jackson does bring out something in Kwame that his past teams could not do. Also wasn’t Tyson Chandler criticized as a bad center until recently when he won a championship with the Mavs. I mean every BIG needs that little guy to feed him the ball and with Curry and Ellis demanding a lot of attention, maybe this is Kwame’s big break and time to prove critics wrong. No matter what only time will tell if this deal is sweet or sour.

  4. That Man

    Your right ESS. Kwame Sucks! for 7Million it is highway robbery. He is a plodder that will help with his “great” post defense in 4 games this year. BOOOOOOOOO

  5. Justin

    Bunch of drama queens! Stop over-reacting! Stop acting like Kwame was brought in to be the best player on the team. He’s a stop-gap solution for added depth as a center. He’ll be with the team for one season (a shortened one at that). I’d rather have him than watch more undersized players (Udoh, Lee, Amundson, Brandon Wright, Chris Hunter, Mikki Moore, Al Harrington, etc) trying to play center and constantly getting overwhelmed by other centers. It’s a year rental as insurance for Biedrins and to play 20 or so minutes a game. The team tried aggressively to get better centers but it just didn’t materialize. That’s just how it goes sometimes. Time to not give out crazy long-term contracts, re-group next off season, and try again then.

    • World B. Free

      I hope you’re right. We’ve never heard that “re-gropu for next season” thing way too many times to think this way a good move but I hope you’re right.

      • Justin

        Don’t get me wrong. I also want the Warriors to become a better team, just like everybody else. Yes, it’s disappointing, but I’m also being realistic. I know full well that just because I want something, it doesn’t necessarily mean I will get it. This isn’t NBA2K12. There are a lot of other factors in play, other than pressing buttons on a controller.

        I wanted Paul and Howard too, but they don’t want to play for the Warriors. We can’t put a gun to their heads, and force them to play here. I wanted Chandler too, but his first choice was the Knicks. The FO would have had to offer him way more than the 15 mil per year the Knicks gave him, but I wouldn’t have wanted him for 17 or 18 mil a year either. Jordan was another player I was hoping we’d land, but we can’t overpay him, and offer 13mil a year just to prevent the Clippers from matching.

        The team wasn’t left with much options. I agree the 7 mil for Brown is a bit high, but serviceable centers are hard to come by, and we desperately needed some front court size. With both the Celtics and Heat angling to sign him, along with the Bobcats looking to re-sign him, we didn’t have much choice, but to offer more than his actual value. Unfortunately, this is the state of the team right now. At least it’s better than having to sign Melvin Ely as a center.

  6. World B. Free

    I am terribly ashamed of this transaction and I’m a Warrior fan, for God’s sake! Our bar for performance is pretty low but this is just beyond absurd. We were already fighting against the “league laughing stock” image and they go and sign Kwame Brown???????? For $7M????????? Please, somebody tell me this is a cruel joke.

    When you’re trying to re-invent the image of your franchise, you don’t start your first FA frenzy by signing Kwame Brown, for ANY price, for ANY reason. We would have been better off with Brandan Wright.

    I don’t care if he’s Dennis Rodman in disguise; Kwame Brown needs to go somewhere else and prove it before getting $7M. He’s been an unmitigated disaster everywhere he’s gone. What on earth could make the Warriors FO think he’s worth $7M?

    As this signing has unfolded, I’ve been reading up on him. OMG, do you realize what we’ve just broght into the locker room? The Warriors have never been a bigger laughing stock.

    In a way, I feel kinda bad for Kwame Brown because he’s going to have a hard time with the fans. We’ve been patient for a long time, we typically don’t belittle our players and we have seen some horrendously bad transactions go down, but this takes the cake. And it comes precisely at a time when we were expecting this type of thing to never happen again.

    I just hope the FO gets whatever they were hoping to get out of him. The fans are restless.