Elton Brand Introduced As Sixers New GM
It's been quite an eventful offseason for the Sixers between Markelle Fultz rebuilding his jump shot and searching for a new general manager. On Thursday morning, we got a look at Fultz's rebuilt jumper in addition to Josh Harris introduceing Elton Brand as the team's new GM.
With Sixers players, media and front office executives watching, Brand's confidence in his abilities combined with his passion for the Sixers organization echoed when he spoke for the first time as the general manager.
"I believe this team has an incredibly bright future," Brand said in his opening statement. "We have a dynamic young core to build around, a balance of accomplished veterans and a well respected head coach in Brett Brown. The goal is to bring a championship to the fans in Philadelphia and I'm committed to doing everything in my power to lead the team to that goal."
Prior to Brand taking the mic, Josh Harris said that Elton would report to him and be responsible for all of the off-court decision making. Brett Brown will be responsible for all of the on-court decision making. All in all though, it will be a collaborative effort.
"Elton and Brett are partners, like in many many great organizations in basketball," Harris said. "Both of them report to me and to ownership. We expect they'll be collaborating a lot. Ultimately, Brett is the on-the-court voice and Elton's the off-the-court voice. Elton will have the loudest voice off-the-court and final decision making authority, subject to ownership."
Throughout the search for a new GM, both Josh Harris and Brett Brown preached the word collaboration. At Brett Brown's media luncheon earlier in the week, he told reporters he was looking for a partner, and he seems to have found that.
While the hiring of Brand still might be a little bit of a head-scratcher, there are some things to consider. When it comes to luring big name free agents or even negotiating with GM's around the league, this is a guy that has a phenomenal reputation on both ends. He's a guy that players around the league respect, he is familiar with both sides of the NBA and he's also someone who, throughout his NBA career, built relationships with executives around the league as well.
It's been under two years since Brand retired (for a second time) and he's served on the player development staff for the Sixers prior to becoming the Delaware Blue Coats general manager. Throughout his career though, Elton always had a feeling that he would be a general manager and he was actually offered a high up executive job less than five years ago.
"When I loosely retired the first time, or maybe it was the second time I was offered the assistant GM job over four years ago with another team," said Brand. "It was my goal to be prepared for this moment ever since then."
If there was a couple of things you wanted to hear or see from Brand during the presser, it has to be a good feeling to have a guy that's so confident in the Sixers organization as a whole, from their young talent to the analytical staff to the coaches. Time will tell whether or not this hire was the best decision, but it's clear that the Philadelphia 76ers got someone who fit their culture, knows the fan base and is thirsty to bring a championship to the city of brotherly love.
Here are some official statements from Brand and ownership from Sixers.com:
Elton Brand: It’s a tremendous honor to be named General Manager of the Philadelphia 76ers, and for that, I want to thank Josh Harris and David Blitzer,” Brand said. “I’ve had the privilege of playing for this team and these amazing fans, so I understand and embrace the expectations. I’m excited to help accelerate the development of our dynamic young core and watch them continue to come together as a team and reach new heights. This is a special team, an incredible opportunity, and we will lead a disciplined and determined path to building a championship organization.
Josh Harris: We are thrilled to announce Elton Brand as General Manager of the Philadelphia 76ers,” Harris said. “He is a 17-year NBA veteran, a two-time NBA All-Star, won Rookie of the Year, and is a former Sixer. He is a unique talent who is intelligent, hardworking and has an incredible feel for the game. This is a player’s league and Elton’s strong relationships and commitment to culture are very important as we grow this team. We’re excited to have him as our GM as we work toward our goal of winning an NBA championship.
David Blitzer: We are lucky to have Elton Brand as our new GM,” Blitzer said. “His integrity, passion for the game of basketball and commitment to our franchise has earned him the respect and confidence of his peers. To have homegrown talent like Elton, in a leadership position, together with Alex, Ned and Marc, will undoubtedly continue to push the 76ers organization forward.