30 April 2006: Forward Kwame Brown of the Los Angeles Lakers stands between Phoenix Suns' James Jones (22) and Boris diaw (3) during the fourth period of the Lakers 99-98 victory over the Suns in game 4 of the first round of the playoffs at the STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, CA. (Icon Sports Media)

Back in 2001, there was a near-seven-footer who the Washington Wizards selected first overall out of high school. That guy was Kwame Brown, and Brown emerged as one of the biggest busts in NBA history.

Whether the bust label is justifiable or not is for another day, but the 34-year-old big, who hasn’t played in the NBA since 2013, recently expressed a desire to return to the league. Luke Adams of HoopRumors.com confirmed the report, and published a letter from Brown’s agency that illustrated his interest:

“[Brown] is ready for a new life. His comeback can be the road to glory for a team that believes in him. Kwame is back, physically healthy and ready to be the outstanding player he was on several NBA teams. … No longer the young man that entered the NBA, Kwame is now an experienced and mature player and man. And he’s back, for the love of the game.”

The odds of Brown even getting an invite to a team’s training camp are slim. In his 12 NBA seasons, Brown was seldom healthy, and only appeared in 70 or more games three times. When he was healthy, he wasn’t close to the production levels that were expected of him, and he finished his career with 6.6 points and 5.2 rebounds per game while shooting 49.2 percent from the field.

Brown’s biggest weakness was no post game, and he didn’t have a mid-range jump shot either, so a majority of his buckets came on dump passes off penetration from the ball handlers. He was never a good shot blocker or rim protector despite his size, but he was a solid rebounder.

That alone, however, won’t guarantee anything, and it’s hard to believe that he would’ve made vast improvements in his mid-30s, an age where most athletes are declining or have already declined.

With today’s game, shooting trumps all. Brown cannot shoot, and he cannot space the floor, so he’d just clog up the lane for the guards on his team. If he were a bit younger and a better interior defender, he’d be worth a look because bigs like that are still valuable, just look at someone like DeAndre Jordan.

Although the NBA ship has sailed, overseas is still a viable option. Despite the competition being much improved over the last few years, NBA players dominate, even if they’re past their prime in the league–Metta World Peace, Stephon Marbury, just to name a couple.

Stats courtesy of Basketball-Reference

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