Photo Courtesy of Philly.com
By Glen Ivol
The mystery surrounding the Philadelphia 76ers search for a general manager is finally over. Thanks to a Woj bomb, the 76ers are hiring former player Elton Brand to take over as general manager. It has been quite a rise for Brand in the front office side of basketball operations as he was signed as a PLAYER by the Sixers just over two years ago, according to Derek Bodner. Brand announced his retirement from playing shortly after signing that contract and moved in a front office role in December 2016 until he was promoted to general manager of the Delaware 87ers/Blue Coats last August. Just over a year later, he is the new general manager of the big club during one of the most important stretches of the franchise.
After unsuccessfully trying to pry Daryl Morey away from the Rockets and speaking with David Griffin in July, news about the Sixers search went dark, there was nothing. Late last month, reports came out that they were given permission to meet with three potential general manager candidates: Justin Zanik from Utah, Gersson Rosas from Houston and Larry Harris from Golden State. After branching out their search, the Sixers decided to stick with an internal candidate, which surprised no one. The fact that they went with Brand, however, raised a few eyebrows.
Coach Brett Brown, one of the few still-standing members of the Process, has to love the hiring of Elton Brand. Brown was a main part of the think group that made the decisions for the team this summer and understands the relationship a coach and general manager need to have. According to Keith Pompey, the Sixers were interested in finding a GM that would make collaborative decisions over one that would have the final say, essentially keeping the group decision model in place. Brown has had a say in personnel decisions since Hinkie brought him on board so there’s no reason to ditch that now, especially with Alex Rucker, Ned Cohen and Marc Eversley all staying on board with the team as well.
Elton Brand and Brett Brown are now in a situation together in Philadelphia that is rivaled by few other teams in the NBA. As seen last year, the Sixers have the talent and potential to turn their young team into an Eastern Conference finals contender. Brand and Brown will need to work together to grow their current core to get there and hopefully attract other star talent. If anyone is on the fence about Brand’s hire, just remember that Danny Ainge had zero experience in a front office before the Celtics hired him in 2003.
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