Monday, May 12, 2008

Season in Review: The Browns

Andre Brown and Kwame Brown were the big men who couldn't. Neither player could hit a free throw, grab a rebound or get on the court too much to even remember that they were a part of the team on a regular basis. The interesting thing is that one player has to believe this season was a major disappointment while the other should consider it a major success.

On the disappointment side, Kwame Brown has reached the stage of his career where people are calling him the biggest bust since LaRue Martin who was drafted #1 by Portland bypassing the Michael Olowokandi and Joe Smith draft busts. That is a bit unfair since outside of Pau Gasol there wasn't a clear cut choice at #1 that season while Joe Smith required a pass on Jerry Stackhouse, Rasheed Wallace and Kevin Garnett and Michael Olowokandi was chosen ahead of Dirk Nowitzki, Paul Pierce, Mike Bibby and Antwan Jamison. Kwame battled threw injuries this season to his knee and shoulder and never was able to give Memphis a real chance to see what he can do.

What he was able to do is show Michael Heisley how he could save over $70 million over the next 5 years. Kwame's expiring contract freed up over $9 million this summer alone. For a team losing around $20 million a season that is more than fair compensation for the loss of Pau Gasol according to the owner when you throw in two future #1 draft picks, the best center playing in Europe and a flashy 19 yr old combo guard with great potential. After all the team as it was previously built was losing a ton of games and fans. It was obvious a remake was needed and cutting expenses while rebuilding the team makes a lot of sense.

Andre Brown was the forgotten man on the team for most of the season. He appeared in 33 games but averaged only 8.7 mpg. While he only made the league minimum salary that isn't bad pay for less than 9 minutes of work over 33 days a year. I know that isn't a fair statement because he practiced with the team and travelled with the team and all but seriously who wouldn't want to get paid the league minimun salary to be in his position for a season?

That isn't to say Andre didn't contribute either. Andre scored 19 points against Denver the last game of the season on 8-14 from the field shooting. He grabbed 18 rebounds against Minnesota to set a season high for the Grizzlies. Those games were not real competitive efforts by either team but the fact that Andre was still working and doing the best he can shows a personality that may be brought back for a 2nd look next year. After all he did average 13.0 ppg and 11.5 rpg in April.

BallHype: hype it up!

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