The guys and I discuss this quite a bit… especially since these two guys used to play in the City of Angels.
Which #1 pick would you take on your team? Michael Olowokandi or Kwame Brown?
The Kandiman (as Ralph Lawler called him) and Kwame have each played nine seasons in the NBA.
Of course, they are well-documented as two of the worst #1 picks of all-time.
Olowokandi career averages? 8.3 points, 6.8 rebounds, and 1.4 blocks. His career field goal percentage of .435 REALLY sticks out because he’s a big man. I don’t understand how a guy that hangs around the rim can’t make 44 percent of his shots.
Kwame’s career averages? 6.7 points and 5.4 rebounds. He doesn’t even average a full block a game (he’s at 0.6 blocks). But he does have a much better field goal percentage than Olowokandi (career .488 shooting). It’s safe to say that he doesn’t shoot farther than ten feet very much. We also know that Kwame is notorious for NOT being able to catch a basketball.
But see… there were times when these guys actually were pretty good contributors to their teams.
It’s still pretty astonishing that Olowokandi never shot a better field goal percentage than .456 in a season. But in one full season (2001-02 season), he was pretty promising. Olowokandi averaged 11.1 points, 8.9 rebounds, and 1.8 blocks per game. I know. I can’t believe it, either. In one game, he had 30 points and 16 rebounds. Yes. Seriously. Imagine if Olowokandi was able to produce 20 and 10 on a consistent basis. Imagine if he got occasional monster games like that 30 and 16. The Clippers were actually a promising team when Olowokandi got those numbers; they were 39-43 under Alvin Gentry. And he actually started out very strong in the 2002-03 season as he was averaging career highs of 12.3 points, 9.1 rebounds, and 2.2 blocks before a knee injury ended his season. He didn’t have much of an NBA career after that as he never played more than 62 games in a season in his last four years in the NBA.
People probably won’t believe this, either… but Kwame had one pretty good season, too. In the 2003-04 campaign with the Wizards, Brown had averages of 10.9 points and 7.4 rebounds. In a game that season, he poured in 30 points and 19 rebounds.
In fact, I don’t understand this. Kwame Brown had outstanding footwork in these highlights. Usually, he looks confused on both ends of the court. What if we had THIS version of Kwame on a consistent basis?
Like Olowokandi, Kwame’s follow-up season after his breakout year was marred by injuries. Unlike Olowokandi, though, he wasn’t exactly doing as well. Brown only had averages of 7.0 points and 4.9 rebounds. He would later be traded by the Wizards to the Los Angeles Lakers for Caron Butler. That didn’t work out too well, either, and he was traded to the Memphis Grizzlies in that famous Pau Gasol heist. At the very least, Kwame Brown worked out to be a very powerful trade chip. After not-so-memorable stints in Memphis and Detroit, he reunited with Michael Jordan (the man that drafted him in Washington) in Charlotte.
Both players weren’t the greatest offensively but they did show some inside moves from time to time. On defense, Olowokandi was a very good shotblocker and Brown is known for defending the post well.
However, Kwame can’t seem to concentrate when he’s playing. And the numbers don’t lie: Olowokandi’s had better numbers throughout his career… except for that mindblowing poor field goal percentage.
But I know what you guys will answer to the original question of which player you would want on your team. You guys will say NEITHER.
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