76ers turn franchise over to Brand
CAMDEN, New Jersey (AP):
Only two years out of the NBA, Elton Brand is set to return to the league as a 39-year-old general manager of the Philadelphia 76ers.
For a franchise that underwent the painful "Process" for a few seasons and had its last GM caught up in a Twitter scandal, a youth movement in the front office could be what the Sixers need to take the next step into Eastern Conference contention.
Brand is ready to help lead the way.
"I'm going to rely on my team," Brand said. "Not just on the court, but the off-the-court team. I can't keep saying it enough. In my opinion, we are one of the top groups in the NBA."
Brand was introduced yesterday at the Sixers complex as the new GM, and it was made clear, the two-time All-Star would not yield the power to make the final decisions, but rather would work in concert with coach Brett Brown and the rest of the front office.
"The 76ers are on the cusp of something very special, and the next 12 months are really important," Brand said. "I think that's why I was the leading candidate - to bring stability to the organisation and this group that I know really well."
Brand had worked for the Sixers as vice-president of operations and was the general manager of the Delaware Blue Coats, the 76ers' G League affiliate.
Sixers owner Josh Harris said Brand emerged from a list of at least 10 candidates as the right choice to steady a franchise rocked by Bryan Colangelo's sudden departure. Colangelo resigned in June as the 76ers' president of basketball operations after what an investigation concluded was "careless, and in some instances, reckless" sharing of sensitive team information on Twitter.
"I'll lead with honesty, integrity," Brand said.
Brand played in 1,058 career games over 18 seasons with the Bulls, the Los Angeles Clippers, Dallas, Atlanta, and two stints with the Sixers. He posted career averages of 16 points, nine rebounds, two assists, and two blocks per game.