The 76ers introduced Elton Brand as the team's new general manager on Thursday.
Brand comes into the position with fewer than two years of formal front-office experience, but joining the executive ranks was always his plan. He'd had conversations with ownership about continuing his career and advancing.
"It's faster than even I thought, but I was prepared and I'm prepared now," Brand said at his introductory press conference.
The Sixers' top brass is confident that Brand's 17-year NBA career and his familiarity with the Sixers organization make up for the lack of off-the-court experience.
Here's a look at Brand's career and his quick rise from player to man in charge:
Drafted first overall out of Duke by the Chicago Bulls, Brand finished his rookie season averaging 20.1 points and 10 rebounds. He was co-rookie of the year with Steve Francis and followed his rookie campaign with another impressive outing in the 2000-01 season before being traded to the Los Angeles Clippers.
In his seven seasons with the Clippers, Brand averaged 20.3 points and 10.3 rebounds and was named to the all-star team twice, in 2002 and 2006.
After recovering from a ruptured Achilles, Brand signed with the Sixers. In February of his first season in Philadelphia, Brand had season-ending surgery on his shoulder. During the next three seasons he averaged 13.2 points and 7.2 rebounds. Brand's time in the NBA not only showed his acumen on the court, but he became a trusted confidant and role model for numerous players, earning him a respected reputation.
What Sixers co-managing partner Josh Harris is saying: "Everyone's aware of Elton's credentials as a player and how many years he's spent in the NBA, but what we learned through the process of interviewing was that he had a great vision for how we could win a championship." "He's a great leader and he's extremely well thought of internally."
Brand spent one season with the Dallas Mavericks and two seasons with the Atlanta Hawks before announcing his retirement on August 11, 2015.
What Brand is saying: "When I loosely retired the first time, I was offered the assistant GM job with another team. It was my goal to be prepared for this moment ever since then."
Brand came out of retirement to rejoin the Sixers in January. The young and rebuilding team was in need of veteran leadership, and Brand wanted to give back to the game in a different way. In October of the same year, Brand again announced his retirement from basketball, but this time he had a plan for staying around. On Dec. 6 he joined the Sixers staff as a player development consultant. His new position gave him the opportunity to work alongside basketball operations and management executives. Brand used it as a chance to study the positions he would one day want to serve in himself.
What Brand is saying: "Ownership has given me great, unparalleled access behind the scenes for years."
On Aug. 28, less than a year after joining the Sixers front office, Brand was named the general manager of the Sixers' G-League team, the Delaware 87ers (now the Blue Coats).
What Brand is saying: "What originally piqued my interest was the opportunity in player development. I love to play basketball but then I said 'OK, I can also work basketball.' It was intriguing putting a team together and being a part of something special."
In addition to his role as GM of the Sixers' G-League affiliate, on Aug. 27 Brand was named vice president of basketball operations for the Sixers. Meanwhile, Brand was told that outside and internal candidates would be interviewing for the Sixers general manager position that opened in June following Bryan Colangelo's resignation. Through interviewing more than 10 people for the job, Harris said that Brand rose to the top.
Elton Brand introduced at general manager of the Philadelphia 76ers.