Brand Says 'Phillies, Absolutely''

Elton Brand admitted to becoming a Phillies fan as he watched the team's run to last season's championship. (Yong Kim/Staff Photographer)

Elton Brand grew up in upstate New York and played the majority of his NBA career in Los Angeles. He didn't arrive in Philadelphia until last season. So where, as the Phillies prepare to face the Yankees, does he place his World Series allegiance?

''Phillies, absolutely,'' the 76ers' power forward said after practice today at Philadelphia College Of Osteopathic Medicine, completing preparations for tonight's NBA regular-season opener in Orlando.

Not that it was always that way.

''Actually, my grandfather was a (Toronto) Blue Jays fan,'' Brtand said, laughing. ''I think that was when they played the Phillies in the World Series, too, so I was watching the Blue Jays. I don't know why, but he didn't like the Yankees or the Mets. He never had an allegiance to the New York teams.''

Brand admitted becoming a convert as he watched the Phillies in their run to last season's championship.

''I watched that run, and this year's run again, and I'm rooting for them, for sure,'' he said. ''It's amazing, because there's a good vibe around the city that makes you want to be a part of it. It's definitely inspirational.''