- The Washington Times - Sunday, December 25, 2005

Kwame Brown returns to the scene of his four-season no-show tonight, no doubt resigned to the boos of the throng on Fun Street.

A change in venue has not been a tonic for the fragile fountain of feebleness. His numbers are as uninspiring as ever.

Brown already has exceeded the patience of the exceedingly patient Zen master, who apparently has been borrowing the motivational tactics of Michael Jordan.

The Zen master has taken to calling Brown an unprintable name.

The appellation has led assistant coach Brian Shaw to meow in the presence of Brown, a locker room antic certain to scar the traumatized one even further.

Brown’s history around hard truths is not favorable, starting with his reaction to the tag-team gutturals of Doug Collins and Jordan. His recourse was to drop the F-bomb before going into the fetal position.

Brown has two ineffective measures around those who question the quality of his testosterone: pointing fingers at everyone but himself and fashioning scenarios that do not pass the smell test.

He claims he quit on the Wizards in the playoffs in May in order to spare Gilbert Arenas a slapping. So his actually was a give-peace-a-chance decision intended to pique the interest of the Nobel Peace Prize awarders in Oslo.

It is a testament to Brown’s body that he is still in the NBA. There is nothing else about him that is NBA. He looks as lost in Los Angeles as he was in Tony Cheng’s neighborhood.

At least he carried a trace of plausible deniability in his first two or three seasons here. Near the end, not even his strongest supporters could defend his lack of conviction.

A hint of worthiness is probably never going to be associated with Brown, no matter how many pronouncements he makes.

This was his season to be a beast, if you recall, as he finally was released from the burden of expectations here. If he is a beast, then Kobe Bryant is a wallflower.

One of the theories that lurks in the corridors of Abe Pollin’s arena is that Brown never really liked the game. He played the game only because that is what is expected of someone who grows to 7 feet.

That is just of one the instructive differences between Arenas and Brown. Arenas is a notorious gym rat who is liable to show up to the arena at 1 in the morning to work on his shooting technique.

Brown has not grasped that the quality that separates so many players with imposing physical gifts is the amount of time spent refining the game’s skills. Brown has yet to develop a serviceable maneuver on offense or show the capacity to play with his back to the basket.

As frustrating as Brendan Haywood can be at times, he at least continues to show clear signs of progress. Haywood has a consistent baby hook shot, plus a fadeaway jump shot that is useful on occasion.

Brown is seemingly destined to go down as one of the biggest draft busts ever after being selected with the No. 1 pick overall in 2001.

He was supposed to be the cornerstone of a franchise. Instead, he has become a marginal role player on a so-so Lakers team that has overachieved in the first two months of the season.

And his fall is his alone, news as that might be to him.

He has run from the responsibility of his career, which is counterproductive.

Taking responsibility would be the first step in salvaging his mess of a career.

It is said you cannot fix a problem until it has been identified.

Brown has yet to identify the problem because identifying yourself as a problem can be the hardest thing to do.

Until a jolt of clarity comes to him, Brown is consigned to his fog of denial and stunning lack of relevance on the court.

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