Elton Brand initially had some reservations.
That’s why the former 76ers standout turned down an assistant general manager job with the Atlanta Hawks following his two-year playing stint with them in 2015.
But after a behind the scenes glimpse of front-office life this offseason, Brand relinquished his Sixers player development consultant gig for a bigger role in the organization. The team announced Monday that the 38-year-old is the new general manager of the Delaware 87ers, the Sixers G-League affiliate. Brand will also serve as a member of the Sixers’ front office staff. He replaces Brandon Williams, who left last month to become the Sacramento Kings’ assistant general manager.
Brand intends to continue his mentor-like relationship with the young players on the Sixers’ roster.
“What really did it for me was going to Chicago [for the NBA Draft combine in May] and interviewing these young men, going to Utah [in July] seeing the summer league, being there at draft night [in June],” he said of accepting the Sevens job.
The Sixers ownership group and team president Bryan Colangelo gave him “amazing” access.
“I wasn’t sure if I [would] like working in basketball,” Brand said. “But I enjoyed it. So when the opportunity came, I took it.”
Brand’s new post comes after two go-rounds with the team as a player before ending his 17-year career this past October as a Sixer. Brand’s career started when the Chicago Bulls chose him with the first overall pick in the 1999 draft.
The Hawks were Brand’s last playing stop before re-joining the Sixers. His second stint in Philadelphia was basically to serve as a mentor for the younger players. He previously played four seasons for the Sixers before he was waived in July, 2012.
Brand averaged 15.9 points and 8.5 rebounds during his career. He was also regarded as one of the best locker room guys in the league.
Now, he’s an up-and-coming executive. One who could be visible on both the NBA and G-League levels.
“I’m still going to learn from Bryan Colangelo and the Sixers’ management and staff,” Brand said. “But I’m the [Sevens’] GM and basically calling the shots and everything down there.
“I have to hire [an assistant] coach. I have a lot on my plate.”
He’s actually already been assuming the role of Sevens general manager for some time after Williams departed.
In addition to identifying future Sevens players, he’s also involved in the selection process for the organization’s two-way players. Each team is allowed two two-way players, who will go back and forth from the NBA to the G-League.
NBA teams are allowed to bring the two-way players up for a maximum of 45 days.
So far, the Sixers have agreed to sign former Golden State Warriors reserve power forward James Michael McAdoo to a two-way deal. However, they won’t comment on McAdoo publically until he signs the contract.
Brand also recently spent time with USA Basketball in Houston to scout free agents on the USA AmeriCup team.
“It’s an amazing opportunity,” he said of the Sevens job.