HoopsHype.com Interviews

Kwame Brown: "I'm forgetting all about the No. 1 pick hype"
by Billy Hart / July 19, 2002

Do you still feel pressure to live up to the hype of being a No. 1 pick?

Kwame Brown: I’m forgetting all about the No. 1 pick hype and all the expectations. I can’t be what you want me to be, because if you want me to be something, and he wants me to be something, and he wants me to be something, then I will never me myself. So I am not going to be the number one pick, better than all the other guys in the league. I just want to be Kwame, who comes out every night, works hard and keeps getting better.

You were scratched from the first two games here in Boston. What’s up with the leg injury and how has it effected your play?

KB: I had a mild groin pull, so I had to take three days off. I pretty much just did a little jogging, so today my timing on the court was off. I was not real disappointed with my performance. Even the players who have been here the whole week have seemed out of sync at times. We were trying to run an offense, trying to do set plays. Now it just seems like guys are going out, playing, and being basketball players, so I have to catch up. Tomorrow we will get in the gym together, get a little sweat going, workout, and hopefully I can get my groove back.

What have you been up to since the season ended?

KB: I took a month off to rest my legs. When I came back I focused on my footwork, basic stuff, lifted some weights and just tried to get my body back in shape. Right now I am just going to build from where I am. I have to nurse this groin injury, but at the same time I have to keep working hard to get in the best shape I can.

Is there a specific area of your game that you are looking to improve upon?

KB: I am going to work on my whole game. I am going to work on my jump shot and I really want to focus in on my defense. To play at this level, in this league, if I want to become a starter, I have to be able to stay on the court. I have to learn to play without fouling, I have to learn how to move my feet, work on my lateral movement to get quicker and really work on conditioning my body so that I can run with anybody.

Did the league meet your expectations on and off the court?

KB: The NBA life is day to day. One day you are up and great and the next day you are down. You just have to never get too high and never get too low. Know that you have to count on your teammates. You always have to trust someone else.

What was it like playing and working with MJ?

KB: It was great. He is a true leader. He comes out every single day and works hard. What else can you say about the guy, he won six championships.

How difficult will it be teaching the rookies, who are years older than you, about life in the NBA?

KB: I think when you’re a rookie, no matter the age, you are going to have some limitations, you are going to be behind your teammates. It is an adjustment for anyone, because it is not like college, it is not like high school, it is a step up on every level. I guess I can help them along the way just like Popeye and the other guys did for me, by just encouraging. That’s all I can do is stay positive, because I know once you get down on yourself, you can pretty much put it in the bag, because it’s over. You have to stay positive.

Any players last year really impress you with their ability?

KB: Rasheed Wallace and Kevin Garnett. I mean those two are the best power forwards in the league. What else can I say about those two, their numbers speak for themselves.

Billy Hart is a regular contributor to HoopsHype.com

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