4 Important Lessons That Teachers & School Leaders Can Learn From Kwame Brown’s NBA Career

Kwame Sarfo-Mensah
8 min readJun 11, 2021
Brown with the former NBA Commissioner David Stern at the 2001 NBA Draft

Over the past few weeks, former NBA player Kwame Brown has been on a viral tear, dishing out his Momma’s Cooking to all the sports journalists and analysts who have put dirt on his name. His brash, thought-provoking live takes on the sports media’s mistreatment of Black athletes coupled with his comedic timing have made Brown a powerful force in the social media world. As an avid basketball fan, I vividly remember watching Brown play in the midst of media scrutiny and not say a single word in response to the media’s negative treatment of him. Twenty years after being the first player in NBA history straight out of high school to be drafted as the #1 overall pick, he is finally fighting back and putting the entire sports media world on notice. After watching many of his YouTube videos, I have come to realize that many of the central themes and experiences that Brown has shared through his videos directly parallel with my own experiences as a teacher. As a result, this revelation has inspired me to put on my teacher hat and share with you four important lessons that every teacher and school leader can learn from Kwame Brown’s career:

1. Differentiation always trumps standardization — Doug Collins was the head coach of the NBA’s Washington Wizards during the early years of Kwame Brown’s playing career. Although Collins was a four-time All-Star player in his career with the Philadelphia 76ers in the 1970’s and early 1980’s, that success didn’t quite transfer to his coaching career. One of the main reasons why he had short coaching stints with each of the four NBA franchises he coached (i.e. Bulls. Pistons, Wizards, and Sixers) is because of his inability to make adjustments to this overbearing, “old school” coaching approach to reach his younger players, including Brown. In the modern-day NBA, many players prefer a “players’ coach”, a term used to describe a head coach who honors the individuality of their players and centers players’ voices when it comes to team-related matters.

Brown practicing with head coach Doug Collins

As a teacher or a school leader, it’s great to have high expectations for all students and teachers…

Kwame Sarfo-Mensah

Founder of Identity Talk Consulting, LLC. | Middle School Math Educator | Teacher Development Specialist | Author https://www.identitytalk4educators.com

Recommended from Medium


See more recommendations