Sixers’ New GM Elton Brand Will Bring Prestige, Trust Back To Position

Duke University produces some of the greatest basketball players, but the thread of intellectual prowess that runs through generations of these true student-athletes is even more remarkable. Duke basketball players become college and pro coaches, NBA executives and even General Managers. 

Elton Brand is an African-American who not only took advantage of his opportunity to play ball at one of the nations flagship universities but parlayed a potent education into becoming one of two African-American general managers — three of color — in the NBA today. 

Keith Pompey on Twitter

Updated with comments from #Sixers players: Elton Brand named #Sixers GM as search ends with in-house hire via @phillydotcom

The Twitter burner account scandal that led to Bryan Colangelos resignation — a scandal draped in the attempted character assassination of African-American employees and franchise players —  has manifested itself in Brand, a person of color, getting a rare opportunity to lead one of the NBAs 30 franchises. He joins Knicks GM Scott Perry and Torontos Masai Ujiri as men of such distinction.

Choosing Brand is a shrewd move for a franchise that needs to capture the moment that the city is in. Philadelphia has become the center of sports blackness, from the triumphant struggle of rapper Meek Mill to avoid unjust incarceration to the outspoken, politically conscious players on the Eagles Super Bowl-winning team, to the burgeoning wave of interest created by young NBA Kings Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid. An infusion of young, freakishly-talented blood has made Philly an elite franchise again and the poster child for why tanking wins, having accumulated a roster of captivating all-world talent for the first time since the Allen Iverson Era.    

Brand, who already proved his savvy as VP of Basketball Operations and GM of Phillys G-League affiliate, replaces Brett Brown, who was serving as interim GM. 

He spent two years in this organization and has been around this organization, said NBA TV analyst Steve Smith. When (he was a player in Philly) and they wanted to bring a vet back for those guys… they brought in Elton Brand to be at the end of the bench and console them in tough moments and consult with those guys and be a big brother type. 

Elton Brand Career Highlights

Come watch, and enjoy Elton Brand’s Career Highlights over the years with the Los Angeles Clippers, Chicago Bulls, and and Philadelphia 76ers! About the NBA: The NBA is the premier professional basketball league in the United States and Canada.

I think they knew all along that Elton Brand was gonna be the guy. I think hes going to do a fantastic job.

There were some haters in the Twittersphere who questioned the move, claiming that Brand isnt a big enough name. 

if you are OK with Elton Brand becoming Sixers GM, doesnt that say you would have supported literally anyone they hiredbecause hes basically just anyone Philip Keidel (@PhilKeidel) September 19, 2018

For the most part, the players and people who are tired of seeing the same old, white faces get general manager opportunities in a league thats composed of 80 percent people of color, are rooting for Brand to succeed and dont believe theres any reason to think that he cant get the job done.  

Every year The Lapchick Report on the NBA’s racial and ethnic diversity efforts comes out and the NBA gets props, but when you take a closer look at the types of jobs African-Americans are getting, you will see a lingering disparity in opportunity at the highest positions of leadership within the league and on the team level.  

Jameer Nelson on Twitter

Congrats to my bro Elton Brand… one of the guys I’ve admired and looked up too throughout my career. Always very professional, and extremely humble.

Ed Palmer on Twitter

I have zero issues with Elton Brand being named as the Sixers GM. Smart guy, who will connect with players and be respected by current players. The Sixers will be fine.

The haters who dont like the hire are the same people who underestimated his NBA talent and his executive mind. Brand isnt a huge personality, but his effectiveness and basketball prowess are undeniable. Perhaps, he is the final piece in a franchise rebuild that has the Sixers on the cusp of doing great things. 

NotoriousB.I.G.Data on Twitter

Hey, the Philly media underestimated Doug Pedersen when he was hired as the Eagles’ head coach. And we see how that worked out!! Perhaps Elton Brand does the same for the Sixers!!

If Brands basketball career showed you anything its that he knows the game from an intellectual standpoint, he’s comfortable dealing with people of all races, creed, and colors and hes a silent assassin, with a contagious, strong character that can serve as an anchoring piece for any franchise. 

After winning the John Wooden Award at Duke in 1999, Brand became the No. 1 overall pick of the Chicago Bulls in that years NBA Draft. The two-time All-Star had a decorated NBA career, playing 17 seasons and averaging 16 points and 8.5 boards. The Brand was a double-double threat every night and in his prime years with the Clippers from 2001-02 to 2007-08, Brand averaged 19.9 ppg and 10 rebounds per game as a highly effective power forward/center.  

Once his Clippers career was done, Brand moved on to Philly and helped the franchise reach the playoffs in 2012. In the upcoming months, Brand will have to find the players needed to support his two All-Stars and reach that next level of competitiveness.

The Eastern Conference is wide open with the departure of King James to the LA Lakers. Brand is an inside hire for an organization trying to please the fans, keep some front office continuity in light of the Colangelo debacle, and return some integrity to the position. 

Theyve also helped diversify the leagues pitifully low Black General manager representation in the process. This move comes at an appropriate time as Philadelphia rises in prestige and prominence in todays sports landscape. As a man of color, Brand has the rare opportunity to cultivate and influence a revived culture and new chapter in Philadelphia sports history. 

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