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 DETROIT (AP) -Kwame Brown hopes to be the latest player to resurrect his career with the Detroit Pistons.
The Washington Wizards drafted the 6-foot-11 center No. 1 overall out of high school in 2001, but he was tagged as an underperformer early in his NBA career, and he's played for three teams in seven seasons, averaging just 7.5 points and 5.7 rebounds.
``The past is the past,'' Brown said during a conference call Tuesday. ``I'm not going to disrespect my new teammates or my organization by making excuses. I have a chance to write a new legacy for myself.''
Brown said that, despite the rough treatment he's gotten from fans and the media, the most important judge of his talent is the man who decided to sign him as a free agent - Pistons president of basketball operations Joe Dumars.
``I definitely hope he'll see in me what a lot of people don't see,'' Brown said. ``I think I've been one of the underrated defensive players in the league.''
Dumars has built a perennial contender with key players cast off by other teams, most notably Chauncey Billups, Rasheed Wallace, Ben Wallace and Antonio McDyess. Brown said he welcomed a chance to join a team that has reached six consecutive Eastern Conference finals.
``I'm in the best situation ever,'' he said. ``I'm in a situation where no one's expecting nothing, so whatever I give is going to be a plus as long as I play hard and play smart.''
Brown will make $4 million next season and will play in Detroit for another $4 million if he exercises an option for the 2009-10 season. If Brown doesn't take the option, he becomes a free agent again next summer and the Pistons won't owe him anything.
``It's the first time where I was able to pick where I wanted to go,'' said Brown, who was traded from Washington to the Los Angeles Lakers after the 2004-05 season and was dealt to the Memphis Grizzlies midway through last season.
``I'm just happy to be a Detroit Piston. It just seems like a first-class organization.''
Meanwhile Tuesday, Dumars announced that Detroit exercised its team option on the contracts of guards Rodney Stuckey and Arron Afflalo through the 2009-10 season.
Stuckey, the 15th overall pick in the 2007 draft, appeared in 57 games last season, averaging 7.6 points, 2.3 rebounds and 2.8 assists in 19 minutes per game. Afflalo, the 27th overall pick, appeared in 75 games, averaging 3.7 points.
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