Iverson misses flight to Turkey

Former 76ers star guard Allen Iverson was scheduled to depart for Istanbul, Turkey today. Iverson signed a 2-year/$4 million deal last week. Just now, while waiting for Doug Collins at the Wells Fargo Center, this news came from Twitter.

From @ismailsenol: "Besiktas Cola Turka's Allen Iverson missed his flight to Istanbul and his arrival delayed to Monday." And then this a few minutes later: "Besiktas board announced that they delayed the big public press conference to a further date."

And what follows is the original intention of this blog post: 

Maybe it's because the previous two years were filled with injuries and subpar production, maybe it's because last season Elton Brand spent a good amount of time on the bench, or maybe it's because the 76ers are off to a 1-4 start, but whatever the reason, Brand's productivity this season has gone somewhat unnoticed.

Through five games -- a small sampling, yes -- Brand is averaging 18.0 points, 9.6 rebounds, 2.6 steals, 2.2 assists, and 1.8 blocks a game. He has been the team's high rebounder in all five games. He's shooting 56.1 percent from the field and 88.9 percent from the free throw line. He's leading the team in offensive rebounds (21 -- the next closest player has 7) and defensive rebounds (27). He has the most steals (13) on the team and has been playing 36.8 minutes a game, second only to Andre Iguodala (38.8 minutes).

Before tonight's game against the Cleveland Cavaliers, Sixers coach Doug Collins spoke about Brand's play this season. You can check out that video, which should be embedded in this post.

One person who never doubted Brand's ability to return to form after back-to-back, season-ending injuries was Brand himself, who spent last season very plainly stating that the reason his numbers were low was because his minutes were low. Last season Brand played 30.2 minutes a game, averaging 13.1 points and 6.1 rebounds a game. It's too early to debate whether Brand has fully returned to form, we'll wait for that debate until we get at least 20 games into the season, but each game will bring him closer towards proving his doubters incorrect.

"First of all, Elton is a very proud man," Collins said tonight. "And he knows he has not played the way he has wanted to play for the last couple of years. When you come in at 252 with 6 percent body fat, I think you’re telling people: I’m ready to go. And I like to think the things we’re doing are playing to his strengths."

Tonight's game tips off at 7:12 p.m.


Each week, Kate will check in from the road and answer fan questions about the Sixers. Click here to ask Kate a question or e-mail her at kfagan@phillynews.com.