For much of the past few days, Kwame Brown has been at the center of attention for the NBA Twitter discourse after an episode of the All The Smoke podcast in which Gilbert Arenas joined Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson to talk about a lot of things, one of them being Brown. As is frequently the case when people bring up Brown, he ended up being the butt of a number of jokes.
Brown didn’t take kindly to that and has since spent the past few days going on Instagram Live and torching Arenas, Barnes, and Jackson in videos. Barnes briefly responded with some comments on The Jump when prompted by Rachel Nichols about the growing beef, as Brown took aim at Barnes with commentary about Derek Fisher, who is engaged to Barnes’ ex-wife, Gloria Govan. The jokes about Brown being a bust as the No. 1 pick in 2001 have understandably worn on Kwame, and he finally decided he had time — and found a captive audience with NBA fans the past few days locked into his IG Lives — to go at those who won’t leave him alone.
Among those that he called out alongside Arenas, Barnes, and Jackson is Stephen A. Smith, who delivered the infamous rant about the Lakers trading Brown for Pau Gasol in which he called him “a bonafide scrub.”
Brown lit into Stephen A., inviting him to Seattle to fight because, for some reason, Kwame is aware that Seattle doesn’t require a waiver for hand-to-hand combat.
Kwame Brown told Stephen A Smith to meet him in Seattle " the only city you can have hand to hand combat without signing a waiver"
— 🏀 (@dribblecity) May 18, 2021
When pressed by folks to respond, Stephen A. went a route few anticipated and said Kwame is right that people need to leave him alone when it comes to jokes about him and his legacy as a bust.
I will do no such thing. I will not waste my time. That man is right; he’s been retired for years, yet all of us have been guilty of getting on him from time-to-time. He has every right to speak his mind. Go for it! https://t.co/seSmuGvRqy
— Stephen A Smith (@stephenasmith) May 18, 2021
As many have pointed out, after Brown responded, most everyone he has come after has quickly tried to squash this because Brown is not someone guys want to mess with. Still, even if there’s some self-preservation at play, it’s a point that hopefully folks can take to heart as at some point it becomes tired and unnecessary to keep bashing guys — particularly once they are out of the league, but even when they’re still playing. Brown carved out a 12-year career in the NBA, and while he never became the superstar that is typically associated with being a top overall pick, he also wasn’t a guy that flamed out of the league by the end of his rookie deal.
At some point it just needs to be let go, and Brown has made it clear that two decades of being on the wrong end of jokes has led him to the point of being fed up and being willing to come at anyone’s head about it — and take it much further than basketball.