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Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Kwame Brown revisited

Over a year ago, I posted on Kwame Brown, who was the first pick, straight out of high school, in the NBA draft in 2001. He was the first player ever selected first in the draft immediately after high school. (LeBron James was selected right out of high school in a later draft). At that time, Brown had not accomplished much as a professional.

I'm glad to report that he has now had some success, after being traded to the Los Angeles Lakers. He closed the season as starting center, taking a spot with a lot of history. Shaquille O'Neal, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Wilt Chamberlain and George Mikan (with the then Minneapolis Lakers) previously played center for the Lakers. All four of these will probably be ranked among the greatest players of the NBA's first 100 years or so. Abdul-Jabbar, Chamberlain and Mikan are in the NBA Hall of Fame (O'Neal, still playing, is no eligible yet.)

Unfortunately, Brown has been accused of sexual assault. He maintains his innocence. I hope he is right.

Although making all that money must have its pluses, the expectations must be difficult. High school graduates, however much talent they have, can seldom be expected to be mature enough to cope with them. There is something wrong with a society that puts so much emphasis, and so many expectations, on its young. (Or that pays entertainers, be they athletes, musicians, or movie stars, so much. There are some other overpaid people, too.) Recent events with the Duke lacrosse team show that some male athletes think it's OK to hire a woman to entertain them by dancing, and they weren't expecting ballet. There's something wrong with a society like that, too, if nothing else happened in that situation. Such doings aren't restricted to athletes, either.

Thanks for reading. I don't expect to be able to spend much time blogging, or reading your posts, over the next couple of weeks.

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