The 6 ft 11 in (2.11 m), 290 lb (130 kg; 21 st) center was the first overall pick in the 2001 NBA draft by the Washington Wizards, and was the first number one draft pick to be selected straight out of high school. He has also played for the Los Angeles Lakers, Memphis Grizzlies, Detroit Pistons, Charlotte Bobcats, Golden State Warriors and Philadelphia 76ers.
Originally signing a letter of intent to play for the University of Florida, he later declared for the 2001 NBA draft. The Washington Wizards, under team president Michael Jordan, decided to use their first overall pick on him. Following a pre-draft workout with the Wizards, it has been reported that Brown told then-Wizards coach Doug Collins, “If you draft me, you’ll never regret it.”
Perhaps as a result of hype and high expectations, Brown’s rookie season was marred by a lack of maturity and production on the court. In his rookie year, Brown averaged 4.5 points and 3.5 rebounds per game.
However, the Wizards believed in Brown’s potential. In his second season as a professional, Brown saw more action in the league. He started 20 out of the 80 games he played and the total minutes he played doubled. Brown improved his numbers, posting averages of 7.4 points and 5.3 rebounds per game. In his third season, Brown continued to improve, posting career highs in both points (10.9) and rebounds (7.4). He also demonstrated his great potential during a game against the Sacramento Kings, during which he registered 30 points and 19 rebounds.
After his first three years in Washington, Brown rejected a five-year, $30 million contract offer, electing instead to test the free agent market when his contract expired after the season. In his fourth season, Brown was limited to 42 games due to injuries. His highest-scoring game of the season was 19 points, compared to his season-high of 30 the year before, and he averaged 7.0 points per game. Late in the season, criticism increased; he feuded with Gilbert Arenas, other teammates, and his coach Eddie Jordan.