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Kwame Brown Says Michael Jordan Wanted To Trade Him For Elton Brand So The Wizards Could Compete For The Championship

Kwame Brown Says Michael Jordan Wanted To Trade Him For Elton Brand So The Wizards Could Compete For The Championship

Michael Jeffrey Jordan accomplished much in his 15-year career. A 14x All-Star, 10x Scoring Champ, 5x MVP, and 6x NBA Champion, he is widely considered the greatest basketball player that ever lived.

While Jordan's NBA tenure is as close to perfect as you could get, there were a couple of rocky stretches for him -- and perhaps none greater than his two-year stint with the Washington Wizards.

Over a year before his final return to the NBA, Jordan joined the Wizards as president of basketball operations on January 19, 2000.

As he began gearing up for his return, Jordan had a plan to help launch his team into the playoffs. Apparently, it involved trading 2001 No. 1 pick (Kwame Brown) for young star Elton Brand.

(via Essentially Sports)

“They never drafted Kwame Brown with the intentions of being #1 draft pick," said Brown. "I was supposed to be traded. MJ was a 39-YO man. That’s why I’m not bashing him but MJ is from an era where young guys did not play. John Salley just said this… the era that they’re from is when young guys had to prove their right to play… I was drafted to be traded for Elton Brand to come to the Wizards so MJ could get into the playoffs and compete for the championship.

MJ’s a very shrewd businessman. What company ever bought a product that they had turned to, look at, examined, they check your mind, they check your heart, blood, they check your family, they know everything about you. What company that know everything about you, then turned and bashed the product that they put out? That’s because MJ did not get what he want.” 

At the time, Elton Brand was a young, two-sided, double-double machine -- the perfect complementary player for a guy like MJ, especially late in his career. According to Brown, it was MJ's desire to trade for him that led to an argument within the front office.

"Abe Pollin did not allow me to get traded because they made so many trades. And this part is allegedly, but allegedly there was an argument between MJ and Abe Pollin that he wanted to trade me for Elton Brand. Elton Brand was killing at this point… makes business sense… I never took it personal.”

We know now that the Wizards would go on to miss the playoffs in both of MJ's seasons there, making for a rather disappointing and unfortunate ending for the basketball legend.

Looking back, it's hard to imagine how much things might have been different had Jordan been allowed to trade for Elton Brand.

Alas, we'll have to leave that scenario to our imaginations for now.