In 1989, Jon Koncak signed a 6 year, $13 million dollar contract with the Atlanta Hawks and instantly assured himself a place in professional basketball history. Koncak was coming off a year where he averaged just under 5 points per game, around 6 rebs per, in just over 20 minutes a game. However, his contract made him a highly compensated professional basketball player and also a lightning rod for scrutiny from the media, fans and other players in the league. See, in 1989, Jon Koncak signed a deal paying him more per year than Michael Jordan, Larry Bird or Magic Johnson were making. His new contract earned him a new nickname: Jon Contract. … So to honor the NBA, the collective bargaining process, and to help us get through the month of August (Please, no more coverage of Dez Bryant NOT carrying Roy Williams shoulder pads): The Real Shaq teams up with other bloguin geniuses to compile a list of the WORST contracts the NBA has had since the last lockout in 1999. And boy, let me tell you there are some good ones on here. Here’s how it works: every week day in August one of the fabulous bloggers from around the Bloguin network will write about a bad contract and make their case for why it’s one of the worst contracts the NBA has ever had.
Discussing “bad contracts” leads me to a contract that’s near and dear to my heart: Kwame Brown. And that will be my assignment… read on!
In the 2001 draft, under immense pressure to get it right – the Washington Wizards used the first pick to draft Kwame Brown. Brown had told the coach of the Wizards at the time – Doug Collins:
“If you draft me, you’ll never regret it.”
Kwame Brown went on to become perhaps the biggest draft bust of all time. But his drafting isn’t the point of discussion here, even tho’ the contract given to him then was way too much compensation for a man of his limited talents.
It’s the subsequent contract that Kwame Brown was given in a sign-and-trade to LA, paying him $25 million dollars over a 3 year span. Washinton had to be astounded at their luck.
Brown and Laron Profit for Caron Butler and Chucky Atkins. Butler goes on to play basketball like an All Star.
Oh dear god.
Was it a moment of jaw-dropping insanity? Wasn’t it apparent after his first contract that this man has no godly right to be one of the highest paid players on one of the premier franchises (the Lakers) in the league? The guy who is the poster-boy for prep-to-pros busts getting a contract that made him one of the highest paid Lakers of the time.
Every time I think about it, it’s a “shake my head” moment.
The anecdotes of Kwame Brown’s ineptitude are countless. But perhaps my favourite is his first game back at Washington’s VCI Center (now the Verizon Center) post trade.
The sold-out crowd of Wiz-fans loudly booed him upon entering the game and whenever he touched the ball. In the second quarter, Brown was looking the other way when teammate Sasha Vujačić threw a pass his way. The ball bounced off his head and landed out of bounds, which was met with loud cheers from the crowd. The Wiz went on to take the game 94-91… Good ol’ Kwame’s take on the reception? “Weak”.
That’s it? “Weak”? No, ‘weak’ is the pathetic level of play that Brown subjected the Lakers to whilst getting an incredible amount of compensation for a guy who wouldn’t probably get on to the very end of the bench of the current LA roster.
However… there’s a silver (gold?) lining to this tale of stupidity.
On February 1, 2008, Brown was traded along with Javaris Crittenton, Aaron McKie, the draft rights to Marc Gasol, and the Lakers’ 2008 and 2010 first-round draft picks for Pau Gasol and a second-round pick in 2010…